The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) has almost rounded off its national roadshows, actively supporting the profession to manage evolving legislation including the launch of new guidance on providing best practice risk advice.
Over 2000 members have registered to attend the roadshows held across regional towns and capital cities throughout April and May to hear about the latest legislation impacting their practice and to collaborate on solutions with their peers. In June, the FPA will be hosting roadshows in regional Queensland and ACT.
“After a one-year pause on live events following COVID, the FPA is thrilled to be on the road again meeting up with our members face-to-face. The roadshows provided valuable opportunity to engage with our members, helping them navigate changes which continue to impact our profession,” FPA CEO Dante De Gori CFP® said.
The FPA outlined key milestones in its ambitious five-year policy agenda. As part of its ongoing advocacy efforts, the FPA has provided 39 submissions to government and regulators and held over 326 meetings with government and stakeholders in the last 12 months.
Moving on advocacy
Progress has already been made with the Royal Commission recommendation to ban adviser fees from MySuper successfully overturned. Consumers can still have a choice of paying a financial planner out of any of their super accounts, including MySuper investment options.
Draft legislation on the single disciplinary body (SDB) has now been released and most importantly includes winding down of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) and removing financial planners from TPB to streamline the regulation of financial advice. This was a key plank of the FPA’s five-year policy platform roadmap to make advice more affordable and to create a sustainable profession.
The FPA has put forward a submission to the Treasury on the draft legislation proposing further refinement to improve the model, including the creation of a true, individual, professional registration for financial planners.
The FPA also called on its members to maintain their grassroots campaign on the ASIC industry levy urging financial planners to write to their members of parliament for a review of the levy. The FPA has been actively addressing planner concerns about the cost of the new ASIC industry funding – which has increased by 160 per cent over 3 years – and this campaign is a key part of its advocacy efforts.
Risk advice guidance
A new best practice guide on providing risk advice was also launched at the roadshows. The FPA Life Risk Advice Guide was developed ahead of the Government’s Life Insurance Framework review slated for this year and set up in response to improving insurance outcomes for consumers through the role of advice and importantly maps all of a member’s regulatory obligations into a single and easy to understand document.
“The guide is aimed to provide our members with the tools and support to help them continue to deliver quality advice,” Mr De Gori said.
The FPA has specifically answered member questions on remuneration; consent from existing clients in relation to life insurance commissions; referral arrangements; and service agreements in relation to life insurance clients including – the actual advice service; implementation services; after advice services; and claims management so members can provide clear and best practice agreements.
It will give financial planners an insight into how life risk advice quality may be improved through the application of best practice and the FPA Code of Professional Practice alongside the Financial Adviser Code of Ethics (the “FASEA Code”) and the Tax Agent Service Code of Conduct (TASA Code)
Members also heard about a number of initiatives that will support the profession as it moves to embrace innovation including the latest fintech tools and resources.
In the last few years, the FPA has released an interactive guide that will bring statements of advice (SOA) into the future, helping financial planners develop accessible, personalised and meaningful client experiences during the advice process. In a partnership with Roar Software, the FPA has developed a tool will gives financial planners a way to properly cost out their advice process to assist in ensuring their advice provides reasonable value to clients, quantifies the real cost in providing advice, and creates a process map to identify inefficiencies and cost savings in their process.
The FPA’s new file note guidance launched in April also provides innovative ways for financial planners to create file notes, including a number of apps that can capture client communications using video or audio recording and convert it to text such as OneNote, Notability and Evernote.
“Technology will play a crucial role as financial planners seek to reinvent themselves. The FPA will continue to provide members with the tools and resources to help the profession embrace the future,” Mr De Gori concluded.
Register for upcoming events in regional Queensland and ACT here.