The boss of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Joe Longo is aiming to make financial advice more affordable, as he aims to remove the red tape in the industry.
Mr Long has reminded the customer that a deregulated market will put the onus on investors to be informed about the advice they receive and the risk of market losses.
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from AFR 21.09.21
Australian Securities and Investments Commission chairman Joe Longo wants to make financial advice cheaper by dismantling onerous laws, but warned consumers they will need to take personal responsibility for investment decisions.
The nation’s top corporate cop, who was installed in April as part of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s push for a more business-friendly ASIC, said on Tuesday that removing red tape for financial advisers and fulfilling the “unmet advice needs” of the general public were among his top priorities.
“Financial advice is crucial and even more so during the pandemic,” Mr Longo told delegates to the Association of Financial Advisers conference. “A healthy and well-functioning economy must include access to financial advice.”
Oversight of the financial advice industry would “not increase” under his watch, he said, breaking with predecessors seen as hostile to the industry and unsympathetic to the rising costs of doing business.
He announced ASIC would release new guidelines to help the industry ditch its “unduly conservative” approach to compliance and stop producing unnecessarily long-winded legal documents to clients.
But he warned that a more deregulated market put the onus on investors to be informed about the advice they receive and the risk of market losses.
“When a consumer comes to seek financial advice there needs to be some effort on their side to understand the risks involved in any investment,” Mr Longo said. “People who seek advice have a responsibility to inform themselves.”
The legal obligation is not “all on the advisers”, he added.
ASIC is building a dedicated hub page collating information relating to financial advice, he said, in order to better inform both consumers and industry. The announcement came as Financial Services Minister Jane Hume said the government would revamp ASIC’s register of financial advisers to make it more “up to date”.