What the Hayne Banking Royal Commission can Learn from Good Schools…

Kids go back to school this week.

For us, after 24 years of secondary schools, we’re down to the last two – time flies.

Our youngest seems OK going back, particularly to catch up with mates.

There are also particular teachers and coaches whose classes and teams he’s looking forward to getting into.

These are the ones that he believes will challenge him, helping him achieve more by working on his confidence, ability and humility.

So what could this year’s Hayne Royal Commission into our banking industry learn from my son’s high school?

Well for starters, just as the schools we send our kids to are less about the books they study and more about the teachers that lead them, so too the financial advice industry isn’t about the products being sold.

Hayne’s Royal Commission into our Banking industry would be doing well if it helps more Australians better identify the difference between those manufacturing a financial product (i.e. a banker) and those delivering a product (i.e. an adviser) in a similar way we understand the difference between the texts our kids study and the teachers that guide them.


Advisers are not bankers and bankers are not advisers.

Both essential, but different. Very different.

Like the difference between doctors (i.e. adviser) and pharmacists (specialist product provider).

Both essential, but different.

Like the difference between lawyers (i.e. adviser) and property developer (product provider).

Hopefully, the Hayne Royal Commission advances everyone’s understanding of the clear and important role of financial products in our financial lives.

Hopefully they do this is in a manner that doesn’t create yet more fine print, lengthy compliance processes that makes the delivery of advice more complicated, more expensive thus entrenching the advantages of today’s huge financial institutions with their growing compliance departments producing copious piles of paper that majority of Australians won’t read let alone understand.

Hopefully, Hayne’s Royal Commission will be a step forward helping more Australians figure out that advisers are like the bus driver taking us to our destinations and products are the required engines to enable the journey.

Hopefully, the Hayne Royal Commission helps us be more aware that new technology itself doesn’t make everything old being made new again.


Is IT better?

Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft haven’t yet figured out how to teach like great teachers, to nurse like great nurses, to paint like great painters, or to judge like great judges. One day they or their successors might.

The new claims being made that technology makes everything different when it comes to financial advice needs to be taken with some caution.

As the Australian superannuation pool heads towards trillions of dollars, hopefully, the Hayne Royal Commission will help more Australians understand what and where to go to obtain valuable advice – the sort of advice we obtained from the great teachers in our lives.


The objective is confidence…

At the end of our kid’s schooling, we hope for more confident kids.

Confidence to step out by themselves, be themselves, make more good choices than bad and continue to grow their confidence and humility.

Hopefully, at the end of Judge Hayne’s Royal Commission, Australians are closer to being able to identify financial advice that is valuable.

Valuable not because we have today’s ‘hot’ share or balance sheet structure, valuable because we are leading better lives – the lives we’ve hoped for.

Today the majority of Australians do not value financial advice thanks in large to the product foundations deeply embedded in financial product structures and expertise.

Like most of us, my kids realise the value of great teachers (even when they don’t like some of the advice) and what can be achieved with their guidance.

Hopefully, Judge Hayne’s Royal Commission will speed up the untangling of the tangled mess that is today’s financial products marketplace.

What do you reckon?


Image by Igor Ovsyannykov from Pixabay



About Jim Stackpool

For nearly 30 years Jim has influenced, coached, and consulted to advisory firms across Australia. As founder of Certainty Advice Group, he leads a like-minded team of professional advisory firms seeking to create greater certainty for their clients. As an author, blogger, columnist, and keynote speaker, Jim is regularly called upon for his professional insights into the advice industry. His latest book Seeking Certainty is available now.

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