Are insurance commissions inherently conflicted?

Alex Burke,  Senior Writer,  No More Practice Education

Speaking recently at a digital conference held by AIA, Shadow Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones discussed whether or not Labor's stance on insurance commissions in advice had softened since the Royal Commission. 

In short: it has not. Jones admitted he had a "bias" against the idea that the commission model can exist in concert with unconflicted advice and argued that "the burden lies upon the industry at large to prove that a commission-based sales model that’s attached to an advising sector is able to provide a service to consumers that is not conflicted."

"I think that’s an enormous challenge," he added. 

Referencing ASIC's upcoming review of the Life Insurance Framework, Jones said he won't be "pre-empting" the findings, but reiterated to risk advisers that "if they can make the case as to why that starting position I’ve got is wrong, I’ll listen to it, but I’m not going to state a position on any of those things till I’ve got the ASIC review.”

Aside from his position on adviser commissions, Jones has been a fairly vocal critic of the red tape surrounding the advice profession over the last year. He described FASEA as being "built wrong from the ground up". When it was announced FASEA would be wound up, Jones said the Government's plan was another chapter in its "bumbling attempts to bring order to the financial advice industry." 


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