Digital advice firm optimistic QAR will ‘reset financial advice’
Ignition Wealth says the final QAR report will help reshape advice and has pushed the government to implement the review’s recommendations in their entirety.
Ignition Advice APAC Chief Executive, Craig Keary said the final findings of the Quality of Advice Review (QAR) provides the government will an opportunity to reset the rules around personal financial advice to the benefit of many Australians.
Mr Keary said financial advice in 2023 will be largely driven by how the government decides to respond to the final report handed down by Michelle Levy.
“This is an opportunity for a desperately needed reset of personal financial advice. We hope that the Government opts to implement the Review's recommendations in their entirety, rather than being selective,” said Mr Keary.
Mr Keary explained that following the Royal Commission, financial advice became a cottage industry and became unaffordable for many.
“Tinkering at the edges will not help. Ms Levy clearly understood that and has indicated that her final report largely reflects the thinking in the Proposals Paper,” he said.
For access to advice to improve, Mr Keary said realistic solutions need to be considered including the use of technology to scale advice and make it affordable to all Australians who want and need it.
“Demand for financial advice continues to grow as the population ages; however, how people wish to consume it is rapidly evolving. We have seen an acceleration in digital adoption across most industries and it makes sense that consumers should be able to access financial advice in a way that suits them,” he said.
Mr Keary noted that the combination of technology and humans as part of a digital advice model is becoming more understood.
“Strong evidence out of the UK, as well as our own UK client experience, shows that hybrid adoption leads to greater access and affordability of advice,” he said.
“Bringing technology to financial advice is about growing the accessibility of financial advice. Technology removes the barriers of convenience, cost and confidence to make advice more accessible for all.”
Digital advice, he said, can deliver single issue personal advice for those with simpler or more episodic advice needs.
“It also clearly preserves the important value proposition of financial planners, who serve the more complex needs of consumers who have the need and budget for a holistic approach to managing their finances,” he stated.
“We’re encouraged by the Quality of Advice Review and the significant reference to technology as an enabler for scale and how that can bridge the advice access and affordability gap.
“Implementing digital advice solutions is no longer a multi-year, expensive and complex, high-risk program of work, or enterprise-wide digital transformation. With the right provider, implementing digital advice can be faster, cheaper, and less disruptive than most digital projects.”