In Michelle Levy’s future of advice, there are two categories of financial adviser: a professional financial adviser that is licensed and qualified to provide holistic strategic advice and a new class of customer service agent that can also provide limited personal advice.

The upper class – referred to as relevant providers – must meet current professional, ethical and education standards, and be paid a fee for service.

The lower class would primarily be employees of product issuers or non-relevant providers.

Under proposals in the Quality of Advice Review consultation paper, they would only need to undertake reasonable training, most likely internal.

Their advice would be covered or subsidised by product. They could potentially charge a fee, making differentiation more challenging.

The idea of letting hundreds of inexperienced customer service agents loose on members is frightening but the ironically named Quality of Advice Review is focused on disseminating personal advice to the masses.

It should arguably be renamed the Quantity of Advice Review.

Fortune still favours the bold

Still, Levy’s bold thinking should be commended.

Demand for affordable personal advice exceeds supply and radical changes are needed to solve the industry’s long list of problems.

A shift to more principles-based regulation would make it easier for advisers and product issuers to provide personal advice.

A two-tiered adviser model would create an opening for students, graduates and others seeking a career change to enter the industry.

This would boost adviser numbers and create a nursery for future professionals.

Both changes have the potential to significantly improve advice affordability and accessibility, but there are also significant risks to consider.