FASEA chief executive Deen Sanders has recognised the challenges advisers face in meeting professional standards, but added that many are eager to see the industry professionalised.
Speaking as part of a panel discussion at the ASIC annual forum in Sydney on Tuesday, Mr Sanders said “reform of this type is ultimately challenging for individuals because it’s personal”, unlike changes to compliance or practice management.
“Other elements of law reform, the Corporations Act, are often elements that are not about the individual,” he said.
“[The current reforms] impact every single adviser personally, they are a personal commitment to a code of ethics, they are a personal affectation in terms of education, so I certainly accept that there is a personal consequence, and that that is never enthusiastically welcomed.”
However, commenting on the feedback FASEA was receiving from the advice industry, Mr Sanders said many were excited by the prospect of becoming professionals.
“They want to be able to clearly and without doubt and evidentially say here is my proof of being in a profession, here is the qualification I have and it’s on my wall behind me, and here is the code of ethics that I adhere to and it’s on the wall behind me, and that distinguishes the professional community,” he said.
“That’s the intention of this regime, without taking anything away from the fact it has a personal effect, and individuals themselves, we appreciate, have to engage in activity – but that’s part of a larger professional statement that we’re also hearing some comments about.”
The comments followed the release of updated guidance from FASEA suggesting that all financial advisers will have to undertake at least one bridging course of additional study and opening the guidance for consultation.
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