The world of financial advice is still evolving from an industry to a profession. To quote Peter Kell (ASIC, Deputy Chair), “The regulator does not view advice as profession yet, however there are certainly professionals in the industry”.
The Royal Commission (RC) has exposed legacy issues that need to be addressed and given the genesis of the profession was through life insurance sales it would be no surprise that institutions and their advice channels have benefited from inbuilt fee structures over an extended period.
A real concern is ‘fee for no service’ which has put National Australia Bank in the hot seat over the last two days. A large portion of the blame can be laid at the foot of the institutions and advisers however consumers can help themselves as well.
Consumers need to understand what they are paying for and utilise the services that are available to them.
There have been a large number of studies done that demonstrate the value of advice* and the outcomes that can be generated through active engagement with advisers.
At RFS Advice we are concerned that the Australian Consumer will become fixated on fees rather than recognising the value of working with an advice professional. We know how much value we can provide to our clients and the value they place on taking control of their financial circumstances and future.
Importantly if you are paying a fee, make sure you receive the services you are entitled to.
Fortunately for consumers and reliable institutions alike, ASIC have made available some great online tools to help better understand what’s expected from the advice process and ensure you are not being charged inaccurately for services you are receiving. More information can be accessed via the following links: