Michelle Levy (left) and Sarah Abood

Don’t expect any more bombshells from Quality of Advice Review lead Michelle Levy with her final recommendations expected to match the proposals.

Speaking at the Financial Planning Association congress in Sydney on Wednesday, Levy said she hopes her recommendations will bring more people into the profession.

Levy released her ‘good advice’ proposal in August and LIF review proposals earlier this month. She reiterated her position that ‘good advice’ will prevent conflicted models from returning whether that is via the banks, super funds or other institutions.

The only change she will make is in the wording to make sure the recommendations are fit for purpose.

“One of the proposals I am changing is not to remove an obligation to give good advice but I have been working on the formulation of that,” Levy said.

“In the proposals paper – which feels like forever now – it was about reasonably benefitting the client. Now I am thinking much more around ‘fit for purpose’. What I like about that is that it adjusts to whoever it is you are advising and who is giving that advice.”

Echoing comments made by Treasury’s Mohita Zaheed at the Oreana Conference who said the currently regulatory system was built “off the presumption of guilt”, Levy said the current regulations are “the wrong way around”.

“Almost everybody has complained about the complexity of the law – A lot of people have come up with ideas for how to make it easier to understand,” Levy said.

“What occurred to me over time is that it’s the wrong way around. It focuses on what people who give advice have to do and the documents they have to provide, the conduct and the processes they are engaged in when advice is given. The law should focus on what do consumers want.”

Levy also noted the criticism of her appointment, specifically her background in the legal profession.

“I know a lot of people ask why wasn’t [the review lead] a financial planner; why was it a lawyer,” Levy said.

“It is a review of the regulatory framework and how it affects the industry. A lawyer was going to be the person to do the role.”

Levy’s final report is due for delivery to Treasury on 16 December but she is not sure what the process will be after that.

Keeping the framework