Matt Lawler speaking at the AMP conference in the Gold Coast.

AMP is optimistic financial services minister Stephen Jones will take serious consideration of the Quality of Advice Review recommendations and the minister has been open to recommendations from the industry.

Speaking to Professional Planner on Thursday morning during its inaugural national conference Advice Live in the Gold Coast, AMP Advice chief executive Matt Lawler says Jones has been consulting with the industry about any potential changes.

“Our interactions with Stephen Jones as the responsible minister are critical and that engagement is really important. From what we see so far, Stephen is open to that feedback.”

Lawler says the industry needs to develop “portfolio of changes” that Jones and Treasury can put into a bill.

“Then there will be discussions with local members and things like that, but our advisers will get involved with that at some point in time in terms of speaking to local members and telling them how important some of these changes are to their small businesses,” Lawler says.

Lawler says it will be important to protect consumers but also create an environment where it’s economical for financial advisers to provide advice.

High praise

Lawler commended advice review lead Michelle Levy for her continued consultation with the industry and said she has given everyone an opportunity to share their views, whether it’s small or large business; advice practices, super funds or life insurers.

“Michelle is good at being transparent about where she’s thinking and what her and the team are thinking about,” Lawler says.

“There’s been follow up meetings and discussions. Michelle and the team at Treasury are definitely listening. They’re having lots of consultation.”

Levy’s proposals have received praise from Treasury which believes there is an appropriate compromise between efficiency and consumer protection.

Positive outlook

Lawler says there’s been an increase of positivity for AMP advisers who have had a difficult few years.

“It’s been a tough couple of years post Royal Commission, not only for financial advisers broadly, but particularly for AMP financial advisers with what AMP has gone through,” Lawler says.