Uncertainty could stall professionalism

The momentum within the financial advice sector to become a profession could be stalled if greater clarity on professional standards requirements is not given soon, the AFA has said.

Speaking to media on the sidelines of the AFA National Adviser Conference on the Gold Coast yesterday, Nick Hakes, AFA general manager of member services, partnerships and Campus AFA, said the industry will need more guidance from FASEA in the coming 12 months.

“What we’d like to see is certainty; we have such momentum behind us and advisers, licensees, manufacturers are actually already starting this higher education wave,” he said.

“What we can’t do is stall that momentum, and there’s been a little pent up frustration because people actually just want to get on with it, so what we need is certainty, because we’ve got the structure, and now we just need to know how that will work in practice.”


However, Mr Hakes said the lack of certainty from FASEA was to be expected at present as the body’s newly appointed chief executive Deen Sanders has only been in the role for a short time, adding that the gap between formation of FASEA’s board and the appointment of its CEO was a “reasonable timeframe”.

“They now have a lot of work to do between when Deen started and the 1st of January 2019, and so the consultation should start from now,” Mr Hakes said.

Mr Hakes’ comments followed the launch of the AFA’s new adviser competency framework at the conference, which is based on more than 1,600 written submissions from sector participants, which were then reviewed by a panel of over 500 experts to assess the skills and attributes advisers and clients found most important.

“[This research] is not the be-all and end-all, it’s the start – not just for FASEA but licensees and practitioners and manufacturers,” he said.

“We don’t want to tell FASEA what to do, however as a key stakeholder we want to unify lots of different voices in the market (the adviser, the client, the licensee, the manufacturer, the academic) and we want to present this unified voice for them to draw upon.”


Uncertainty could stall professionalism
AFA, Association of Financial Advisers, Nick Hakes, FASEA, Financial advice Standards and Ethics Authority, professionalism, professional standards
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