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CBA announces new adviser education requirements

CBA has announced a raft of new educational requirements for aligned advisers, including compulsory Certified Financial Planner accreditation for senior financial planners.

As part of its public response to parliamentary scrutiny of its advice businesses, CBA has announced new minimum education and training requirements for authorised representatives, supervisors and managers of the Commonwealth Financial Planning dealer group.

The new requirements include a relevant degree for all new Commonwealth FP recruits, with existing advisers and supervisors expected to obtain an advanced diploma or relevant degree by 30 June 2017.

All existing “senior financial planners” will be required to undertake the CFP certification program administered by the FPA, the bank said, as well as mandating membership of a “relevant financial services industry association” by June 2015.

“The relationship between a financial planner and their customers must be based on trust,” said CBA executive general manager, advice, Marianne Perkovic.

“The significant transformation in this business since 2011 has been all about building that trust. This is an important next step that continues our investment in the professionalism of the advice industry.”

The FPA issued a statement welcoming the move from CBA, particularly the decision to require association membership.

“CBA has listened to industry feedback and acted,” said FPA chief executive Mark Rantall.

“When all financial advisers are members of a professional association, we are in a better position to build a self-regulatory model under which all planners act in accordance with both regulation and a fully enforceable professional code that commands conduct above legal requirements.”