All financial advisers must pass a national examination regardless of age or previous qualifications following an initial transition period, Finsia says.
That is the view put forward by Finsia in its submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services’ inquiry into proposals to lift the professional, ethical and education standards in the financial services industry (PJC).
Finsia said that the introduction of a national industry exam would help boost consumer confidence and was an opportunity to set a global benchmark.
“The community understand the national exam as an independent test of competence,” Finsia chief executive Russell Thomas said. “An examination provides assurance that everyone in the industry, no matter where that adviser has previously studied, is up to the professional standard.”
Finsia and other industry bodies such as the AFA and Financial Services Union have been vocal about the need to set measurable education standards.
The PJC originally presented its recommendations to the federal government on 19 December 2014 and called for submissions for further consultation.
Earlier this month Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hosted a roundtable with the peak industry bodies, consumer groups, academics and ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft to discuss the lifting of professional standards.
“All participants were unanimous in the view that we need to lift industry standards,” Mr Frydenberg said. “There was strong agreement that the focus of reform should be on the consumer, and that rebuilding consumer confidence in the financial advice industry is paramount.”
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