Higher adviser standards ‘necessary’, broker says

A financial services broker has urged advisers to begin their focus on attaining appropriate education and industry qualification standards, which are essential to improving the industry.

According to Connect Financial Services Brokers chief executive Paul Tynan, the advice profession will continue to be under the microscope throughout 2016 as some practice principals and practitioners head into the classroom.

However, he believes continuous pressure on advisers is necessary.

"The advice sector is moving to a professional footing and ongoing reform that reinforces and supports this framework is the endeavour of the regulators and industry bodies," Mr Tynan said.

"At the end of all this change, financial advisers will be highly regarded experts and their services paid for in the same manner as those of the accounting, legal [and other] professions."

Mr Tynan added that other sectors may soon be subject to similar changes to their professional standards. A review of the mortgage industry is set to begin, with education and professional reforms sitting "at the top of the agenda", he said.

The real estate sector could also come under scrutiny as the property market cools and some practices in relation to real estate advice, especially in the area of negative gearing and SMSFs, are highlighted, Mr Tynan said.

Further, as of 1 January, all AFSLs and their representatives will have to register with the Tax Practitioners Board if they meet the transitional or standard eligibility requirements, he said. 

"The financial advice sector is seen as the pioneer for change, with other sectors such as mortgage, real estate etc taking note as they will soon be dealing with similar changes a lot sooner than many expect," Mr Tynan said.

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