The Financial Planning Association of Australia The Financial Planning Association of Australia

1700 FPA members respond to FASEA questionnaire in 24 hours

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) member questionnaire on the recent Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) announcements has galvanised members into action with over 1,700 responses in the first 24 hours.

The FPA had been concerned that the FASEA proposals were over-engineered and would result in less access to advice for consumers and greater cost. Member feedback has strongly confirmed this, with many calling for a realistic approach to recognition of existing financial planning specific study.

Commenting on the concerns, FPA Chair Neil Kendall CFP® said, “the FPA and many others in the financial planning profession have spent 20 years building a culture of learning amongst planners. These announcements by FASEA and a refusal to acknowledge the study done in advanced diplomas and the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Certification Program (CFP®) will undermine that learning culture if it is not reviewed.

“Our members are outraged and in disbelief that FASEA can ignore the financial planning specific study done in the CFP® program yet recognise a law degree as a relevant financial planning qualification,” he said.

“A financial planner with a Business Degree, eight subjects in the Advanced Diploma, and five Masters level subjects in the CFP® program is treated as unqualified in the latest FASEA proposal, but an existing planner with a law degree only has to complete a non-technical bridging course to meet the standard. It is clear that the FASEA board have not been getting the right guidance on education standards.”

The FPA welcomes the appointment of Dr Mark Brimble as acting Managing Director of FASEA. “We are optimistic that the appointment of Dr Brimble will provide a better opportunity for the profession to consult with FASEA. We thank Dr Deen Sanders for his contribution in establishing FASEA and wish him well in his new endeavours,” Mr Kendall said.

The FPA continues to stress that the education proposals are part of a FASEA package. The education proposals from FASEA seem to ignore that every single financial adviser in the country needs to pass an exam as well, putting in place a failsafe should anyone slip through the education standards without the appropriate knowledge.

Mr Kendall said, “there is broad acceptance that those without university degrees need to undertake further professional study, but those with degrees and further financial planning specific study are aghast at being told by FASEA they are essentially unqualified.”

The FPA had posed a number of questions to FASEA to help clarify their recent proposals and explain their position in a number of areas. The FPA was still waiting on responses to its questions. In light of the changes announced yesterday, the FPA has urgently arranged to meet with Dr Brimble. The FPA will update its members on the FASEA proposals as part of the FPA National Roadshow commencing next week.