Presentation by the Minister at the AFA Virtual Conference

AFA News 30 October 2020. Senator the Hon Jane Hume, the Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology presented at the AFA Virtual Conference on 14 October 2020.  Senator Hume was in Sydney on the day and we were pleased to have the opportunity for her to come into the studio for the presentation and a short on-line Question and Answer session with delegates afterwards.  This is the second annual conference that the Minister has spoken to AFA members at, having presented in Adelaide last year.

The Minister spoke about the impact of COVID-19, and the actions that the Government has taken to protect Australians and our economy.  She also acknowledged the role that financial advisers have played during the crisis in assisting clients through this very difficult time. Senator Hume spoke of the importance and the need for financial advice. The Minister also spoke about the relief that the Government and the regulators have provided during the COVID-19 crisis.

During her speech the Minister spoke about the need for deregulation, stating “I’m also constantly looking for opportunities for red tape reduction, identifying obstacles to productivity and profitability, and reducing the burden on your industry and its participants.”  This is certainly very welcome news.  The AFA is working hard to put a comprehensive reform agenda together.  We have already been working closely with the Government on our views on how to make the Royal Commission recommendations practical and what else needs to be done to ensure that we have smart regulation, not overwhelming regulation. Members are encouraged to present ideas.  Good quick win ideas can be submitted to the Government, in order to give them the chance to deliver on this commitment.

The Minister also spoke in support of the importance of the journey to professionalisation of the financial advice industry.  She even quoted some of our earlier statements in support of this process of raising education and professional standards.  Senator Hume referred to an AFA Submission to the 2014 Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services Inquiry into “Lifting the Professional, Ethical and Education Standards in the Financial Services Industry”.  It is interesting to reflect back on the timeframe under which this whole process has played out.  At that time, and in that submission, the AFA supported the calls for a degree requirement for new advisers only, however, also recommended that the education standard for existing advisers should be lifted to the Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning level.  A lot has happened since those early stages.

The Minister also spoke with enthusiasm about the impact of financial technology in moving the financial advice sector and the whole financial services industry forward.

Members wishing to watch the Minister’s presentation (and who have not previously registered for conference) can register for the on-demand conference content at a reduced rate by visiting the conference website here.

We  welcome  any feedback on this session to [email protected].

Issued 30.10.2020. AFA News