Clients of financial advisers and consumers of financial products are likely to vote for the political party that takes the toughest stance on implementing the Hayne royal commission’s final recommendations, a survey shows.

Further, the survey of financial services consumer voting preferences conducted by researcher CoreData finds that a large proportion of individuals remain undecided in terms of how they will vote, as they wait for more detail on major parties’ plans for implementing reform.

About 36 per cent of the survey’s 343 respondents say they voted for Labor at the last federal election and 19 per cent say they would vote for Labor next time. About 31 per cent say they voted for the Coalition last time and 18 per cent say they would vote for the Coalition next time, the research finds.

The decline in overall support for major parties is reflected in the roughly 35 per cent of consumers who have declared themselves undecided, the research shows. Among this cohort, about a third say whichever party is tougher on misconduct will get their vote.

Will the government’s or opposition’s stance on adopting the royal commission’s recommendations affect how you vote at the next federal election? (Responses by stated voting intention)

“It appears the public is happy for the government to forge ahead full speed,” CoreData head of market insight Simon Hoyle says.

The findings relating to consumer voting preferences are part of a broader research study contrasting consumer preferences with views of wealth management professionals that will feature in the March edition of Professional Planner.

The broader study finds that almost three-quarters of consumers surveyed say the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry should be adopted in their entirety, irrespective of unintended consequences for the institutions involved. Further, the research finds that a quarter of consumers would not be concerned if a major institution – a bank, for example, or a life insurance company – were to fail as a result of an inquiry recommendation.

In a race to win the hearts and minds of voters leading into a federal election to be held no later than May this year, both major political parties have begun floating policies to capitalise on sentiment stirred up from the close to year-long royal commission.

The latest offering from Labor is a commitment for a new fund tapping bank coffers for $160 million a year to support measures including 500 new counsellors to help victims of financial services scandals pursue compensation.

Directly following the release of the final recommendations in early February, the Liberal Party’s Josh Frydenberg, federal Treasurer, said the Coalition would “take action” on all 76 recommendations, a promise that gives some wiggle room when it comes to implementation. The Liberal Party has the most ground to make up with voters looking for the government to take a tough stance on the banking industry, given its opposition to the inquiry.

Labor voters are more likely than Coalition voters to back whichever party gets toughest, the CoreData research shows, but those who identify as independent voters are most likely of all to back the party that undertakes to introduce the royal commission’s recommendations in their purest, and therefore toughest, form, Hoyle notes based on the findings.

Smith is the editor of Professional Planner’s print and digital platforms. He is an experienced financial journalist, editor and multimedia producer who has held senior editorial positions both in mainstream press and trade media.
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