Andrew Alcock (left), Chantel Giles, Eugene Ardino and Sarah Abood

With the deadline for fee consent forms looming at the end of the month, Financial Planning Association chief executive Sarah Abood has expressed how the regulation is “driving advisers absolutely insane”.

Speaking at the Professional Planner Licensee Summit in Katoomba, Abood said Australia has the propensity to look to the government for solutions which is less common overseas and a trend to avoid but the advice review presented some exceptions including dealing with fee consent.

“As an industry that is fragmented and this competitive it is hard for industry to allow that to solve the problem on its own. One example is advice fee consent forms. Those regulations are driving advisers absolutely insane right now.”

Abood said every day she would get calls from members in tears because the processing deadline for product providers would not allow for sufficient time.

“They’re about to potentially lose their revenue because they can’t see a way they can get those forms in for 30 June. Every product provider is handling this differently; they all have different deadlines to submit forms or have different requirements in their forms.”

The new rules came into effect last year and require advisers to obtain written consent from clients before they can deduct fees from the client’s account and review ongoing fee arrangements each year.

Transitional rules apply if an ongoing arrangement began before 1 July 2021, but to continue receiving adviser services fees after 30 June 2022 consent forms must be received by then.

Not the same profession it once was

The profession has come a long way in recent years, Abood said, and professionals aren’t regulated in the same way salespeople are.

“We have a strong view that advisers are professionals. We have 40 hours of CPD, an ethics exam and tertiary qualifications in order to practice.”