(L-R) Adam Holster and Philip Pleasant-George

There has been a tremendous growth of financial advice businesses that provide high-quality services since the Hayne royal commission. 

NAB professional services banking executive Adam Holster tells Professional Planner that these businesses no longer have the conflict that “might exist within a full services financial provider like a bank”. 

“We’re really pleased with the opportunities that the banks withdrawing has created in the market for independent operators,” Holster says. 

The number of financial advisers who were not licensed by banks boomed after the banks exited the market, and they have thrived under alternative licensing arrangements, according to NAB client director Philip Pleasant-George. 

“[Advisers] can [now] basically recommend products and solutions that are no way otherwise perceived as being a slight conflict of interest,” he says. 

Pleasant-George says the main key takeaway from NAB’s 2024 Accounting & Financial Planning Report is that the advice industry has a bright future. 

“We’ve seen a deterioration in terms of numbers for the advisers, which [is] a great opportunity because there are less advisers and more clients who are available. They’re expecting the revenues to rise substantially going forward based on the volume of work they have in the pipeline.” 

He added that the report highlights hiring, retaining, and developing new staff is nominated as an ongoing challenge by 41 per cent of firms due to a shortage of available professionals. 

“[But] they found a very simplified way in which they can actually increase the bottom line and provide the clients with a very good service by outsourcing some of the back-office functions like paraplanning and report writing and other things,” he says. 

Firms also understand the importance of selecting and training the right individuals with the necessary skills for effective service delivery, according to Holster.