Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer has reiterated the government’s support for the work of FASEA, saying instances of “bad advice” have eroded confidence in the industry and that education is the answer.
In her address to the ASIC Annual Forum on Monday, Ms O’Dwyer explained that under FASEA’s proposal all advisers, including those with a relevant degree, will be required to undertake some amount of education in order to be appropriately qualified.
“Advisers who have not previously undertaken a degree, or who have undertaken a degree that is not in a related field will need to reach degree-equivalent status,” Ms O’Dwyer said.
“And advisers who have previously completed a degree in a relevant discipline will need to complete between one and three bridging courses, to bring them up to date with current ethical and professional standards.”
Ms O’Dwyer said the education reforms were a necessary step towards rebuilding trust and confidence in the financial services system.
“It is important to remember why these reforms are necessary – repeated instances of inappropriate or just plain bad advice has significantly eroded trust and confidence in the financial advice sector,” she said.
“Every adviser has a role to play in rebuilding that trust, and these new educational requirements are a critical step towards professionalising the sector.”
Following Ms O’Dwyer’s remarks, FASEA today issued an update to its guidance on education pathways and code of ethics, which confirmed that all advisers will need to do at least one bridging course unit.
The update also confirmed that the 10-year rule, which would require advisers with degrees older than a decade to acquire a new degree, will not be part of the regime.
Speaking at the ifa Business Strategy Day in Melbourne this morning, lawyer and compliance consultant Sean Graham of Assured Support reflected on today's announcement.
"The government has a very aggressive, reformist approach to financial advice," he said.
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