AIOFP accuses Hume of failing on advice review
The Government has missed the mark in terms of ensuring the upcoming Quality of Advice Review discerns the key issues around the separation of product and advice by appointing a lawyer with no coal-face planning experience, according to the Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals (AIOFP).
The AIOFP chairman, Peter Johnston has written to all Federal Parliamentarians criticising the decision by the Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy, Senator Jane Hume, to appoint a lawyer, Michelle Levy, to head the Treasury Review.
“The appointment of Allens Ms Michelle Levy by the Minister to essentially review the Advice industry demonstrates a basic lack of understanding of this critical issue,” Johnston’s letter to parliamentarians said.
It then pointed to Levy’s experience and claimed “she has no experience with financial advice, has never been licensed to give advice and has never dealt with consumers,” the letter said.
It claimed Levy’s experience had been all product-related.
“With all due respects to the legal fraternity but they are responsible for the massive increase in the cost of advice for Consumers by creating the ridiculously complex Statement of Advice [SOA] documents that are essentially illegal under Corporations Law,” the letter said.
“What we have is a profoundly conflicted arrangement where a Lawyer is appointed to cast judgement over the legal fraternities [sic] performance funded by a Government desperate to avoid accountability for their inept handling of the industry.”
“Has the Minister ever considered appointing someone from the ‘coal face’ of Advice to advise on this highly specialized portion of the Financial Services industry? It is about time the Minister understands that Financial Advisers more than anyone else wants poor performers and issues removed from the industry.”
“This is yet another stalling tactic by this Government to push the review of their extremely poor handling of the financial advice industry until after the upcoming Election with inappropriate experts at Tax – payers expense to avoid responsibility for their actions.”