More than a quarter of planners will exit

29 January 2019

As many as 30 per cent of planners are signalling their intention to leave the industry as a result of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) regime, according to the results of a Money Management survey.

However, this number is well down on that indicated by surveys undertaken in the closing months of 2018 and before the FASEA released further guidance on the final shape of the education regime and available pathways.

The survey has also confirmed continuing planner concern that there exist too many unanswered questions and that there is an urgent need for more detail from the authority, especially around continuing professional development (CPD) and the status of a number of degrees in relation to bridging courses.

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The survey has also highlighted the concerns of planners in regional areas, with complaints that as tough as the situation may be for planners in the capital cities, it is even more challenging for those in the regions.

What is more, respondents have pointed out that the average age of planners in regional areas is higher than that in the capitals.

Money Management will publish the full results of the survey in our first print edition in February.

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I would like to think that virtually no advisers are leaving do to "Ethics". A course and exam on ethics is reasonable and indeed most dealer groups have already been beefing this up over the past year or two. Its having to obtain degree equivalent courses when you are 5 years from retirement. Personally speaking i have a university degree and a Graduate Diploma from SIA which included a course in Law and Ethics. However that will all count for very little. Having spoken to a few advisers (age 55+) they are not interested in taking on a significant education demand at this stage in their career. Advisers leaving will have little to do with ethics.

I would agree - if you’re financially secure enough, or will be in 5 years and are around 55+, I wouldn’t bother going back either. Better to spend the 5 years getting business turbo charged on every valuation metric (EBIT, multiples, free cash flow etc) and hope you can get a good price for the business. Go back and study something that interests you for your third age!

Also there is nothing to stop you staying in the business as a non-advice giving figurehead. Go out and network, make it rain and drive new work back to the new owner of the firm on salary or % of new business deal. I’d be happy to buy a business with that arrangement in place.

Advisers may not be leaving because of it, but those advisers who have already done a comprehensive course and exam in ethics are angry at being forced to do another one. They are also deeply suspicious of the role played by Simon Longstaff, a FASEA Board member who works for an ethics course provider, in FASEA's forcing them to do another ethics course.

I agree with all comments above (if its where i intended it to be left) At 56 and with 30 years owning the business and a CFP with no compmaplaints history and a excellent unblemished audit trail, I cant see the need to put my life through such trauma of balancing a young family, working and serving my clients and going back to Uni. In fact I am over it. The poor media reporting, shows like current affairs and four corners have misrepresented the industry and pushed damage to every adviser. To see and hear some of the comments does wear us down and too many of my colleagues are suffering to various levels and many are likely to exit for various reasons including those of health sadly. They say you cant argue with a drunk or a idiot but the media have created far to many.

My integrity and ethics were set in my upbringing and no amount of degrees or practicing to be honest is going to change things. If people ar like that then thy will find a way. I have many examples where i changed the system, put new templates out to be taken up by the dealer group, gone against the old CAR disclosure statements where our first duty was to be inserted as that to the life company or dealer group, but Id insert "the client" dispite audits trying to coach me and falling by the wayside as I did not join this industry to make the dealer group rich, nor me. If you do the right things right and always focus on value and benefits for the client, then you will always be rewarded. This business direction from the RC now challenges my integrity and Ill have none of that.

Yes agree. It's not the ethics course. It is all the workload attached to the exam, course work and everything else. In 10 years someone will wonder why Australia's retired are in financial dire straights. then after another 5 years an indepth study will confirm that they did not have the skill set to manage financially, and did not seek advice because it was too expensive. The study will not discuss why it was so expensive.

Personally, I don't believe that more education is by default is the best answer. Having read some of the RC hearings, the focus is on the misconduct of financial planners. By adding extra courses in, the rationale it seems, is that having taken the courses, the graduates will be more likely to behave with integrity. (Cynically, the excuse of "not knowing better" can not fly as often)
As to the efficacy of the ethics course... It feels a bit too gimmicky... As Ten above said, at the end of the day, personal integrity cannot be taught by any education provider. It's more like selling to the client that an adviser with ethics training is likely more ethical than one without.

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