AFA pleads case for allowing older advisers to remain

The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) has made a special plea to the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA), arguing that advisers aged over 55 in 2023 should not have to face the same educational hurdles as their younger counterparts to remain in the industry.

However, the AFA has also argued that the older advisers who access the lesser educational arrangements should be subject to a sunset date for capacity to practice of 31 December, 2029 – effectively giving them just six more years in the industry.

In a submission responding to FASEA’s policy position on education standards for existing advisers, the AFA has argued that all financial advisers who are aged 55 or older as at 31 December 2023 and who have at least 10 years’ experience should be able to complete a four subject Graduate Certificate by that time.

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However, it said that those arrangements should be subject to a sunset date for capacity to practice of 31 December, 2029.

Commenting on the AFA’s response, the organisation’s general manager, Policy and Professionalism, Phil Anderson said the submission was reflective of the organisation’s concerns about the sustainability of the advice industry and the results of its recent survey of members.

AFA chief executive, Phil Kewin said the approach was based on giving planners the opportunity to remain in the industry in circumstances where, while professionalism was absolutely the key, the sustainability of the industry was also important.

The submission outline said the key objectives of the AFA approach was to achieve from FASEA a broader and clearer definition of a related degree and an alternative solution for existing advisers with an unrelated degree.

The submission canvasses that if an adviser has an Associate Diploma in Financial Planning and has completed a relevant professional designation program, “then they should have access to the three-subject bridging course, along with possible recognition of prior learning for the behavioural finance bridging course”.

The AFA approach also urges access to cost-effective education solutions, in terms of course fees and obtaining exemptions.

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Interesting approach. I wonder if an exam could be done, and the subjects required determined by the level of pass mark. ie if you pass with 75% in all areas, then no further study because you know the stuff. But if you get under this in a few areas you need to do the subjects highlighted by the low scores.

Nice of AFA to do a survey of its members about this issue. Did it survey the customers of its members about this issue?

Please AFA, get with the times! I know your roots are deeply planted in the old lifey society but it really is time to move on. First it was arguing for ongoing commissions, now this.... it stinks of ‘give our old lifey mates another 10 years of gravy’. You’re supposed to be a professional association. The industry will never be a profession if you keep burying your head in the sand like this.

Confident, ambitious, questions authority, lacks empathy and understanding about all that has come before them, disrespectful of heritage or history, impatient and aggressive, believes experience is just another word for boring and yesterday, cannot be taught a different way of doing things, stubbornly self absorbed, (for the blokes)... wants to desperately grow a beard like Ned Kelly, but hormones haven't kicked in yet and wants to develop an app that will track your beard growth and to see if the organic seaweed kombucha is working it's magic with your gut enviro.
It's because of where you are right now in your career "Gen Y " that you don't have the depth of understanding or empathy to where others may be who have created and built the very profession you are a part of that makes you sound like a shallow, self absorbed try hard.
The AFA have poured thousands and thousands of hours and resources into cultivating and building a new generation of membership over the last 10-12 years or so ( I know, because I was there and I was one of them), so the minute the AFA show some support and reason for those experienced,older advisers, many who have contributed much of their own time along the way to enhance and build the industry and profession, you show respect by effectively stating "keep up or get out" ?
If you lack this much respect and empathy for colleagues ,then I pity the service your clients receive ( if you have any yet).
Good luck in the sand pit.

There you go again Agent 8.6. This time saying someone is unprofessional while saying that in a rant in an unprofessional manner.

AFA's lack of guts in administering professional discipline is well exposed - remember Henderson and lack of any action by AFA. There's certainly more cases like that one.

But you are correct in that the older fraternity of the advice world that did act professionally were let down by others that didn't. But few called out the dishonest ones and so they were culpable and unprofessional. The few brave whistle blowers did the right thing by the advice industry's customers and not the AFA and maybe not you.

Well said Agent86, Gen Y you seem like a odd person, happy to pay out on those that paved the way for your existence. Seems maybe a lack of actual social contact can cause these issues, you know not ever moving outside ones own circle so ones own beliefs become taken as gospel due to lack of intelligent debate. To write such comments and then look to others for advice may be seen as hypocritical, however I am sure that you know everything anyway and pass this onto your clients on a daily basis.

Yep, that's exactly what it is. Everyone complains about FASEA but the thing holding the whole industry back are the 'experienced' advisers who dont want to study and charge fees inline with the expectation of a profession (no grandfathering). Main reason they dont want the change is because they know they don't cut the muster in a professional environment where clients need to agree to their fees.

Its all about the education and ability of the advisers. Unfortunately I suspect the privacy laws would prevent customers details being given to the AFA. Everyone is struggling to deal with a difficult situation brought on by poor outcomes over a number of years. Personally I would prefer ongoing assessment and one set of rules for everyone. Stockbrokers, advisers, call centers, bank staff etc. Lets not have one rule for stockbrokers, a different rule for bank staff, and a 3rd rule for call centers, and a 4th rule for advisers. I can't see that is in the customer's best interest, or adds their understanding of matters, or improves the customer result. After all these 3 things are the final goals that we want to be measured against.

I cannot believe that there is not one set of rules for everyone dealing with financial products. Only Advisers (who are the only ones who ever acted in their clients best interests in the first place other than some accountants) have to go through all this meaningless education and more importantly crazy levels of compliance.

The fact that a call centre staff member with no education, experience or training can sell the same products as an adviser with 20 years experience without having to comply with BID or do any of the compliance rubbish is unbelievable.

If you asked a regular person, who should have more obstacles and more rigorous compliance when dealing with financial products, a car sales person, or a university educated financial adviser with 10+ years experience who has done ongoing training for those 10 years? i guarantee 100% of people would answer - the car sales person (unless they are an ASIC employee because they think that the car sales people/ call centre staff require less regulation/education/compliance than the experienced advisers).

Car sales people can sell life insurance and income protection by the way. And union staff and office managers can force employees to contribute to their super fund of choice without any compliance or training at all.

One set of rules for the financial advice industry! Come on Kelly O'Dwyer - lets see this happen. No more different rules for different employers and different products. Just one set of rules across the board, covering Super, SMSF, Investments, Shares, Life insurance, Income insurance, Group life insurance, and all life insurance underwritten at claim time.

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