In its submission to Treasury lodged today, Stockbrokers and Investment Advisers Association (SIAA) has urged the government to urgently implement the experienced pathway for financial advisers.
“The 10-year experienced pathway is extremely important for many of our members, not because they have no qualifications, but because their qualifications are not ‘approved’ degrees by FASEA,” said SIAA CEO Judith Fox.
“References by certain stakeholders to advisers being ‘salespeople’ with a few hours of RG146 training as a rationale for why experience should not equate to a degree reveal a profound ignorance of the stockbroking and investment advice sector and are a complete furphy,” she added.
“Many of our members are advisers with multiple degrees that are not approved, so they are currently required to do additional, unrelated study. Their existing degrees are suited to a profession in investing, yet FASEA deemed them unqualified,” Ms Fox noted.
SIAA has pointed out that had FASEA better fulfilled its mandate and incorporated recognised prior learning and an approach to qualifications suited to the entire financial advice ecosystem, the government would not have been forced to act to implement the experienced pathway.
“The introduction of the experienced pathway does not represent a ‘watering down’ of professional standards or a reduction in consumer protection,” Ms Fox stated. “The experienced pathway recognises our members who have tertiary or other relevant qualifications that do not satisfy the existing financial planning-centric parameters mandated by FASEA. It also recognises the value of our members’ experience, CPD and training conducted over that time.”
SIAA has argued that with 26 million Australians, of which five million are near to or at retirement, and just over 15,000 advisers, it is clear that the education standards must change to provide for more Australians to have access to advice.
“It is vital to stem the next exodus of advisers to ensure that their clients will not be orphaned but will continue to benefit from their relationship with their adviser and receive quality advice,” Ms Fox concluded.
SIAA’s response can be found here.
Judith Fox, CEO
0408 667 246