Top industry issues of 2013

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YEARLY WRAP – 2013 according to Connect Financial Service Brokers CEO Paul Tynan:
  • The latest version of the FOFA legislation has resulted in a halt to the sale of financial planning businesses as the interpretations of the new regulations put doubt on the transfer of grandfather revenue.
  • The institutions have more orphan clients on their books than ‘real clients’.
  • ‘Son of Wallis’ is coming as a result of the Federal government commission of audit.  
  • Financial planners are struggling to implement Financial Disclosure Statements. [ASIC yesterday pushed back the start date by six months.]
  • Consumers continue to be conservative in their investment focus and still prefer to save.
  • ASIC is going to monitor vertical integration and the SMSF market will be the next focus of government review as property ‘opportunists’ enter the superannuation ‘honey pot’.
  • The pressure on technology providers is relentless as the demand grows for IT solutions needed to underpin service and advice delivery for financial planners and dealer groups.
  • There have been many changes within the financial services and mainstream media with changes of personnel, ownership and new entrants. Traditional newspapers continue to lose circulation.
  • The promised pre-Christmas amendments of Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos have still not eventuated.
International factors which affected Australia:
  • We are living in the Asian century and China has maintained its position of global economic prominence as the world’s leading economic powerhouse.
  • Europe is a continent of two distinct halves with northern countries benefiting from economic boom and southern European countries struggling with the burden of debt.
  • The USA’s dysfunctional political system is the source of the country’s escalating nightmare as the gap between the Democrats and Republicans is becoming a chasm due to their inability to agree on a real budget and major economic decisions about job creation. 
  • The US Federal Reserve persists in buying bonds in an effort to stimulate the local stock market – but how long can this last? 
  • The quantitative easing [QE] or more appropriately ‘the money-printing policies’ of central banks have been the big driver of world economic markets over the past 12 months.
  • Global companies have enjoyed the low interest rates and this has been mirrored in increased strong profits.
  • The incoming US Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen has been a big supporter of the QE policy.  The question for the future is when will she turn off the tap? 

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