Financial planners need to decide if now is the time to face their industry’s poor perception, according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) senior executive leader, financial advisers, Deborah Koromilas.

Speaking at a Financial Planning Association (FPA) update, Koromilas acknowledged that the planner has become linked to the performance of the investment.

The industry is being hit by a perception that “you’re all bad, you’re all crooked and you all have conflicts of interest”, Koromilas said.

The industry needs to question how much of an influence that conflict should have, Koromilas said.

“How much do you want that to affect the entire industry as a whole?”

She also questioned whether there was more of a focus on obtaining good performance at the expense of good advice.

“Was advice just given off the back of a rising market? Should there be more products collapsing. Will the industry survive?”

Koromilas painted the picture of an industry where it was too hard to get new clients and too hard to retain them.