The growing risk to financial advisers

Financial advisers must act to repair the trust deficit or risk being superseded by superannuation funds.

That's according to advisory and accounting firm HLB Mann Judd's Michael Hutton, who warned of the threat the changes could have to financial advisers.

The prediction comes as advisers work to meet new educational requirements and compliance pressures, in addition to major trust issues on the back of the Hayne Royal Commission.

"The industry is in a state of flux and for those of us who remain, the transition is not an easy one," Hutton said.

"The challenge for advisers is to find a way to repair the trust that has been damaged following the Royal Commission and show Australians the value of the advice they provide."

Hutton believes super funds would already be looking for ways to fill the gap in the advice industry, with many industry funds already providing advice to members.

"The focus of this advice would be general and would be very one-dimensional, centering on the superannuation side of a person's wealth," he said.

"Industry super funds already have advice channels which come at a cost, which I imagine would be more specific personal advice that would cover more than their superannuation arrangement."

With banks exiting advice, people will rely on the financial relationship they have with their super funds, he said.

"I expect this to be the next port of call for people seeking financial advice, as they won't necessarily know where else to go due to many advisers leaving the industry and remaining advisers becoming unaffordable."

Hutton sees this as a recalibration of the advice industry. He hopes that by super funds providing advice it will become cheaper and more readily available for the average Australian.

However, he also argued that super funds providing advice could end up becoming an opportunity to financial advisers.

"Super funds need people to provide this personal advice - it would be an employment opportunity just as the banks once were," Hutton said.

"This would be an alternative to a financial adviser going out and getting a license themselves; the regulatory requirements and compliance costs of maintaining the license would become the problem of the super fund instead."

Whether it is a good or bad thing, he couldn't say, but Hutton argued either way it wouldn't stop the wheels from turning.

"This is what's happening. It's a shame the banks weren't able to do it satisfactorily," Hutton said.

Read more: HLB Mann JuddMichael Hutton
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