Most advisers want new standards: Mentor Education
A new survey by Mentor Education suggests a majority of advisers are in favour of the proposed education standards as well as support a 24-subject bachelor's degree requirement.
The financial services training company announced the survey results yesterday during a press conference in Sydney. Mentor Education managing director Dr Mark Sinclair said the results are proof the industry is "ready" to become a profession.
"There is a whole series of questions about how it should be brought in and how it should be addressed for existing participants and new participants, so that's to be developed," he said.
"But right this minute, if you ask the participants, they're saying 'yes, we're ready for this'."
The study, conducted by CoreData, includes responses from 540 advisers surveyed between April and May 2016.
When asked whether advisers should be required to complete a bachelor's degree or an equivalent qualification, 47 per cent said yes, they should – but only for new advisers – while 32 per cent said yes for both new and existing advisers.
About 75 per cent of respondents said they believe a 24-subject bachelor's degree, with a broad scope covering financial planning, will be the "most effective at professionalising" the industry.
Further, the survey found only 1.9 per cent of financial planners expect the new standards to increase the cost of advice.
"There is a misconception in the market that if we impose a degree, this cost associated with it will need to be passed on to retail investors or consumers in this space," Dr Sinclair said.
"So the industry itself is saying there will be a cost, it will professionalise the industry. In terms of actually increasing the cost to consumers, that's negligible.
"I think that's really significant because it's one of the objections that people propose and it's not an objection as far as the industry itself is concerned."
Mentor Education chair Dr David Lamond said raising education standards is important if the industry is to change its image.
"I want to see a time when people don't laugh at financial advisers as they are now; that they laugh about financial advisers as they were," he said.
"Because of the absence of professionalisation, people do have that black humour about all the things that financial advisers do wrong."
This story has been amended to say only 1.9 advisers believe new standard will increase the cost of advice.
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