Shadow financial services minister Stephen Jones has criticised the Morrison Government’s lack of cohesive vision for the advice industry, pledging Labor will give certainty to the financial services sector.
Jones spoke alone at the Responsible Investment Association Australasia conference on Thursday with financial services minister Jane Hume declining her spot.
He cited advice as one of the three parts of the financial services sector the Albanese government will prioritise which he said has been in a “meltdown”.
“In the financial advice area the whole market is cooked,” Jones said. “We need to be coming up with a bunch of solutions.
“It’s been a meltdown. Poorly managed change on behalf of the government. There’s an urgent job of work that needs to be done.”
Jones said there needs to be a government with a clear vision, but most importantly, one that could offer certainty.
“You’ve been through a tsunami of regulatory change. That didn’t start with the Hayne royal commission, but that turbocharged things.
“We don’t apologise for spending a lot of time calling for the royal commission and insisting the recommendations were implemented, but we do acknowledge we’re at a point of time where we’ve got to look forward and not backward.”
Referring to the broader financial services sector, Jones said Labor wants all the legislative and regulatory changes to be “digested”.
“That means giving the sector some breathing space to do that. As we go into a further uncertain time we don’t need the sector looking over its shoulder for the next regulatory hit to come from the government.”
Jones has long criticised the government’s approach to industry reform, but Labor has dealt with its own blowback for how it views the advice sector.
In June, Senator Jenny McAllister referred to “shonky” advisers in the self-managed superannuation fund sector setting up on open goal financial services Jane Hume was happy to score on.
“I think it’s rather unfortunate and disingenuous of the opposition to disparage the good work that financial advisers do and the contribution that they make to the financial well-being of thousands and thousands of Australians,” Hume said in response.