The people behind the AdviserRatings website say most of the political wrangling about financial advice reforms has gone totally over the heads of the general public.

AdviserRatings campaigns and communications director Christopher Zinn says amendments to Future of Financial Advice legislation have been a major political and economic issue for many, but consumers are left unsure as to what it means.

Meanwhile, damaging perceptions of the quality and value of financial planning advice still pervade.

“Even when people are aware that most planners are good at what they do and are up to the task the events of last year have disconnected people from advisers and paralysed them into not taking action when they should,” Zinn told reporters this .

“Consumers are avoiding what has to be done by seeking advice and the value of advice has been negated so that the impression has been created that they cannot be trusted with $20, let alone $20,000.”

Zinn said the adviser register under way from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) more work is needed to answer consumers’ questions.

“There are questions around why the fees and charges of advisers on the register will not be present and it would serve consumers better if they were present on the ASIC register instead of being hosted on every adviser's own website,” Zinn said.

“There should be some indication as there is consumer demand for this type of information and its provision would move advisers in line with many other registers of professionals.”

He warned that the finance industry should not overlook simple consumer demand, as demand and dominant attitudes themselves could drive change faster than legislation.

“This is not to say that regulation and governance are not important in bringing widespread change but when consumers start voting with their feet it sends a clear message that a market has shifted.”