Opt-in: Is Big Brother watching you?

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Opt-in is ‘big brothering’ relationships that should be left to advisers and clients to sort out between themselves, and will only confuse and annoy customers.

This is the assessment of OneVue CEO Connie Mckeage, who believes that trust has become a major issue when it comes to opt-in provisions.

“I think the real challenge in the industry with the opt-in issue, is I think added a layer of distrust to a sector that is already trying to find their own raison d’etre. So you’re seeing a lot of changes in the platform market; you’re seeing a lot of changes in the advice sector; you’re seeing challenges and evolutions on manufacturing,” she told Wealth Professional.

“All of a sudden opt-in comes along and it looks like the regulators have lost sight of the customer. Because the issue is that if every single provider is starting to ask a customer [to opt in] – and remember most people do not have all their assets in one place – you can imagine the level of confusion.”

Mckeage added that, while she is “quite an advocate” of a lot of FoFA’s intentions, and that transparency should be encouraged, she believes that opt-in could see clients deluged with communications from various suppliers.

“I think that all of the clients are going to get quite confused, they’re going to be disenfranchised with the sector, because a lot of them don’t want to be bothered. All of a sudden they’re not only bothered, but they’re bothered by a litany of providers,” she said.

“There would have been a better way to deal with it. It’s going to be a cost to the industry, it’s going to be a disruption to the client base, and I think more importantly it is ‘big brothering’ relationships between two parties that really should be left to sort it out in their own right,” she added.

“Transparency is the key issue – not legislating a relationship.” 

Do you agree with Mckeage’s thoughts. Have your say by commenting below.

  • Michael Langtry on 9/11/2012 3:15:42 PM

    I agree. Opt-In stinks of the Government being seen to be doing something about consumer protection, so they can 'finish' the job and walk away. Opt in will not improve consumer protection. Instead, the Government should properly resource the regulator so that it can pro-actively deal with the 'bad eggs' before they do any damage to the consumers.

  • Mike Bird, Halls Head, W.A. on 9/11/2012 12:15:09 PM

    Couldn't agree more. This "Opt In" has been a nonsense from the day it was first suggested by those who have no understanding of a non bureaucratic real world. It can not and will not work.

  • AJB Financial Solutions on 9/11/2012 11:19:30 AM

    Thank you Connie for saying what is on everyone's mind. You cannot legislate bad behaviour out of any industry. And, as you state you cannot legislate how every client/adviser relationshipt will or must work. Last i heard we are all human beings who can have open and frnak discussions with our clients!!!!!!

  • alistair on 9/11/2012 11:02:38 AM

    This thought bubble idea to interfere with our business and increase cost to us is yet another example of this governments lack of understanding of what a business does. We employ people, we make a profit and we grow our business and employ more people. We look after clients so that they do not need to be poor in retirement. Bottom line, mess with business and you will increase the unemployment or should I say the underemployment rate that will cost taxpayers a fortune in support payments. Mess with our industry, and as a government, people will have a sub standard retirement. Get it !!! .....but if you are a Socialist, you probably could not care as the state will look after you. Have a look at Greece and those economies where this experiment has failed. We are getting older as a nation with low birth rates yet we have morons who want to kill the goose that lays golden eggs for all. Our industry. Throw Opt in and this government in the bin. Do it now.

  • David Khenkin on 9/11/2012 10:38:33 AM

    Honestly none of this rubbish is going to work except to give ethical financial planners more headaches.

    Organizations and advisers who want to find a way around FOFA, will do so. FOFA is a complete waste of time.

    The bottom line is that like all industries you have ethical professionals and you have unethical professionals. The ethical professionals will continue to be ethical and the unethical professionals will find loopholes in FOFA and exploit it.

WP forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

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