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GoodReturns TV

GRTV: A voice for the little guys

In the second part of our new Good Returns TV series, publisher Philip Macalister hears why financial adviser Murray Weatherston believes the review of the Financial Advisers Act has been resoundingly a win for the “big end of town”.

Tuesday, May 30th 2017, 12:25PM

Weatherston, one of the founding members of SiFA, has been a strong voice for independent advisers through the review process. But he was sceptical about whether that had been heard at official levels – and whether it was worth fighting now in a last-ditch attempt for change to the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill.

“The people doing the review didn’t actually have much experience in the financial sector, let alone financial advice, and I just think they’ve been captured completely by the big end of town,” he said.

Weatherston said the review would make it easier for banks, insurance companies and big institutions to sell their products but would make life harder for smaller operators.

He said big providers were being offered the chance to sell their products under the guise of offering “advice”.

The outlook for one-man-band-style advice firms was not good, he said. The cost to AFAs of regulation so far had been more than $100m, with very little to show for it.

“If I was 40 years of age as a sole practitioner, I would say, ‘There is no way in Hades that I have a chance of continuing to age 60 in my current shape’. The cost is just too large. The requirements that they seem to think you have to have – I mean, as a sole practitioner, should I need procedure manuals?”

But Weatherston said too many advisers had sat on their hands through the review process. Many had hoped that someone else would argue for them, he said, or assumed it would not matter whether they engaged with the process or not.

To watch the full interview, click here

To download an audio podcast, click here

To read the full transcript, click here 

Tags: Financial Advisers Act SiFA

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