Michelle Levy pens open letter to the government

"I worry about the recommendations languishing"

Michelle Levy pens open letter to the government

Insurance News

By Daniel Wood

Michelle Levy, who completed the independent Quality of Advice Review (QAR), has written an open letter calling on the government to adopt the report’s recommendations.

“I worry about the recommendations languishing on the minister’s iPad and I worry too about bargains and compromises,” said Levy, who is a partner with law firm Allens. “These are bad outcomes for consumers.”

The letter was published in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) this morning. Levy said she her 13 recommendations meet the objectives of the review and will make quality financial advice accessible and affordable.

The report was released in early February and Levy said “happily, a broad range of participants across the financial services sector responded enthusiastically to the recommendations.”

However, she said consumer groups were not as enthusiastic and called her recommendations a “disaster.”

“The language is a little intemperate, and it is, I assume, designed to stop the recommendations being adopted,” she said in her letter which summarised the review’s findings and then called on the government to implement the recommendations.

“And so I have put pen to paper (or more accurately set my fingers to work on the keyboard) to encourage the minister and the government to adopt the recommendations in my report,” she said.

Levy’s report was part of the government’s review to improve the accessibility and affordability of quality financial advice. The review rejected calls from some consumer groups to have broker commissions banned. Levy said the way insurance brokers give advice will  not change “dramatically.”

“They’ll have a good advice duty and a best interests duty if they’re getting a commission,” she told Insurance Business.

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