The government is keen to raise the education standards of advisers, but it is wary about imposing burdens that will increase the cost of advice, says assistant treasurer Arthur Sinodinos.
Speaking at a Financial Services Council/AMP breakfast in Sydney yesterday, Mr Sinodinos said the advice industry has grown “like topsy” in recent years and “therefore it attracts quite an interesting mix of people in different types of settings”.
“You get the sole trade, you get those who are part of small groups of partnership, then you get those who work as part of large organisations,” he said.
“So it’s a very disparate industry when you look at it like that [and] there is more work to do to keep lifting standards,” said Mr Sinodinos.
The industry organisations have done a good job to raise education standards among advisers, he said.
“[But] there is a challenge to keep raising standards the whole time, because the industry has grown so quickly and there is this dilemma about making sure it grows in a way, which provides affordable advice,” said Mr Sinodinos.
But the government will not be mandating a “five or six-year” university course that will be required in order to provide advice, he said.
“I’ve seen industries where the Governments have sought to do that, and often what that means is you get a good product– but it’s the cost of the product, and therefore the accessibility of the product,” said Mr Sinodinos.
“What I prefer to do in the first instance is actually sit down with the industry and say: well what can we do to support your efforts?” he said.
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