FASEA disadvantages women and older advisers, says licensee

The continuing professional development standard put forward by FASEA will make life difficult for part-timers, of which many are women and older advisers, says a licensee head.

According to Synchron chair Michael Harrison, advisers who work part-time and flexible hours will not be able to complete the required study within the timeframe FASEA is proposing and still maintain a high standard of service to clients.

“We recognise that financial advising is attractive to women who want to balance their work and family commitments, particularly those who want to run their own businesses and believe the proposed requirement will therefore have a disproportionately negative impact on female advisers,” Mr Harrison said.

Mr Harrison also added the requirements will also negatively impact on older advisers who have extensive experience and considerable skills but no formal university qualifications.


He also argued that although older advisers may want to work well into their later years and despite the government’s rhetoric around wanting people to work longer so that they are less of a burden on Australia’s welfare system, the reforms may force an estimated 5,000 plus advisers out of the industry.

“The FASEA proposals as they currently stand will force risk advisers in particular to study for a degree that is largely irrelevant to their day-to-day operations,” Mr Harrison said.

“Our concern is that these highly skilled and experienced advisers will find it very difficult to maintain these hours when, more likely than not, they will also be required to study for a degree.

“There will of course be a flow-on effect to support staff who will also lose their jobs. The exit of so many people from the industry will not only result in unemployment, it will increase the cost of advice, potentially making it prohibitive for many people to access."

Mr Harrison criticised other FASEA proposals, including:

  • Minimum and overly prescriptive standards of higher education
  • Inadequate recognition of experience
  • No differentiation between different disciplines – eg. risk only advisers
  • An unrealistic and unfair implementation timeframe

“FASEA has taken 18 months to determine draft standards and yet has not commensurately extended the implementation timeframe. This is grossly unfair to both advisers and licensees,” he said.

FASEA disadvantages women and older advisers, says licensee
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Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is a deputy editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.

You can contact him on [email protected].

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