Without regard to whether giving Australians early access to their superannuation during these challenging times is a good idea or not, it’s clearly been exceptionally popular. Already the ATO has reported more than a half-million Australians have requested early access, a number that has continued to grow week-on-week.
The unprecedented number of people seeking to talk to their fund, either regarding using the early release scheme or concerned about investment performance in exceptionally volatile times has caused a dip in customer satisfaction.
Among the measures included in the government’s response to COVID-19 is providing easy access to professional financial advice. It’s something that was roundly welcomed by professional bodies, including CPA Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, SMSF Association, Financial Planning Association, and the Institute of Public Accountants.
The last three weeks have been marked by three general periods. The first found us holding our collective breath, trying forecast what government would do to help mitigate what promised to be an ugly situation.
Amid the public-facing stimulus measures, like discounted childcare, there have been some measures put in place to support the financial advisers and planners who are on the front lines with people who are panicking about what’s happening with their retirement savings.
All of Australia’s big four banks experienced a credit downgrade this week, part of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Considering the extent of the fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak is yet to be known, it’s not a surprise.
Between the exceptional amount of superannuation members who are applying for an early release and those who are concerned about what to do with the volatility in the markets, call centres are being overwhelmed.
There have been stories of less-than-scrupulous landlords encouraging people to withdraw super to pay rent, something ASIC has come out strongly against. There’s a bigger question, however, around if people should be taking money out of their super at all.
As markets have capitulated over the past month, and investors struggle to keep their heads above water, many are desperately seeking investments with the potential to offer security during such an insecure time.
Even before the travel restrictions and general chaos in the last few weeks, companies were looking to move routine in-person events like shareholder meetings and annual general meetings (AGM) online. There are a few reasons to do it, like efficiency and cost savings, however a webinar can lack the engagement that an in-person event can have.
Predictions around just how much damage will be done in the aftermath of the coronavirus continues to be exceptionally hard to pin down, particularly because we have no idea how widespread it will actually be.
Finance and financial services have traditionally been a face-to-face, handshake business. For many of us, this is the first time we’ve had to manage a remote workforce. While it may be a stressful time, organisational psychologist Dr Amantha Imber says this can be a chance to help our teams be more productive while removing the stresses of splitting our attention between work and home.