FASEA exam advisers’ major area of concern

28 August 2019

The wellbeing hotline set up by the Financial Planners Association (FPA) has not being utilised enough, according to FPA chief executive, Dante De Gori, with less than a couple of dozen calls in July.

Earlier in the year, the FPA launched a hotline for members to use if they were stressed or concerned.

“There was a lot of talk that had been raised over the concerns, but the usage of the services like the hotlines are not as great as we’d thought they’d be,” De Gori said.

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“We did think there would be a larger uptake, but that could be for a number of reasons.”

“In the month of July we’ve had 17 – we have a membership base of 14,000 – and 17 people have used our confidential hotline.”

Because of this, De Gori said they don’t have the data to back up the concerns from financial planners directly, but it also doesn’t mean those concerns aren’t there.

He said most of the calls were from those concerned or anxious about the clarity of information.

“The exam that was launched with the first round in June, has been the greatest source of calls and emails from members,” De Gori said.

“There’s a lot of anxiety from people who have never sat an exam or it’s been decades since sitting an exam, and this is for something there future and livelihood depends on.”

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Members are not calling because they see no benefit from the FPA and have lost confidence in them and their management.

I am a sole trader. I can't get someone else to take the workload. I cant afford it and who would do it? My income is reducing and my expenses increasing. I have a debt for a business i bought. I have to complete an exam, an ethics course and then 6 subjects to get a degree and pay for these in money and time. What magic wand is going to fix this?

Absolutely feel for you, and wish you well; if we were in the real estate game or the automotive industry or practically any other vocation or profession that's "bigger" or deemed more 'important' in the public interest, the stops would be all out in support to protect the participants. The fallout from the Storm and the other GFC-era 'failures' have absolutely dogged our profession for a decade now. Regardless of the political bent, it seems advisers are the scapegoat for all the ills and must pay for what really are 'situations' that are not in their direct control. The saddest part is that the associations have taken a very long time to realize that they need to fight back for their members - I for one, just hope the more recent epiphany is not too late...

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