One in five financial advisers disagrees or strongly disagrees the best interests duty was necessary to raise industry standards. And more than 70% believe the duty has not improved advice quality.
These are two of 11 findings from research released by HUB24 today. The study was conducted by CoreData in partnership with the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA), and it interviewed more than 300 advisers.
Although the statistics above paint one picture, survey responses indicated the formal structure of the compliance regime has given advisers greater confidence their advice is being delivered in the clients' best interest.
The best interests duty was introduced in 2013, and AFA chief executive Phil Kewin said it is "arguably the most important obligation for financial advisers."
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"We welcome this research into adviser's views on the best interests duty. We would encourage more research being done in this space and more guidance provided to financial advisers to ensure that they can be confident that they are meeting their obligations," Kewin said.
"Ultimately an increased awareness of the best interests duty and related obligations will result in improved outcomes for the consumers of financial advice."
HUB24 managing director Andrew Alcock said advisers have always considered a range of factors, "and not just price, when selecting financial products to help deliver outcomes for their clients both now and for the future."