FASEA's degrees and prior learning recognition still in question

7 July 2020

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) will remain under pressure to better recognise a broader range of degrees, prior experience and continuing professional development (CPD) with both stockbrokers and risk advisers continuing to express concern at the current regime.

The position of stockbrokers and the reality that many were preparing to exit the industry was made clear to a hearing of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics by the Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers Association (SFAA) which complained that the adviser exam and the FASEA educational requirements appeared solely aimed at people who wanted to be financial advisers.

Similar complaints have been made by risk advisers who have argued that they do not need to know about investment derivatives when their central focus is on providing advice around life/risk products and they should therefore be subject to a different set of benchmarks to conventional financial advisers.

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NSW Liberal backbencher, Jason Falinksi questioned why FASEA was not appropriately recognising law and commerce degrees with SFAA chief executive, Judith Fox, explaining that recognition of the degrees was “minimal”.

“They're called related degrees. So you might get one credit; you might get two credits. Meanwhile, if you've done a financial planning degree, you'll get recognition of seven credits and you'll only have to do the ethics unit,” Fox said.

“We think it's perfectly acceptable that our members do an ethics unit, but the fact that they have to do seven units and study subjects like insurance, which stockbrokers don't get involved in, or superannuation, doesn't make sense when they've got degrees that are utterly related to their profession, which is investment.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing an exodus of experienced stockbrokers. While the additional time line to complete the exam and education requirements was welcomed, the reality is that many are going to quit the industry because they say: 'Why should I sit a degree in financial planning in order to be able to keep my job which is to be a stockbroker? I'm not trying to be a financial planner. That's not what I want to do’,” she said.

“So there is a considerable cohort of very experienced brokers—and they're the ones we want to give advice to our retail investors, particularly when there's a crisis, as there is now and has been over the last few months. Also, they're the ones we want to mentor the younger generation; although, we're not actually seeing many graduates come into our industry because there's no education pathway for them. Their degrees aren't recognised. They have to do a second degree and then for a year they can't really give advice. So, at both ends of the equation, our industry is being hammered,” Fox said.

She said that her organisation believed that the outcomes of what the FASEA regime is intended to achieve “are honourable; they're well intentioned, but the regulation and the way it's been constructed and applied is certainly having damaging consequences”.




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If a stockbroker holds a related or relevant degree they would receive 4 credits (not 1 or 2). Then if they held the Diploma of Stockbroking they would get an additional credit plus 1. So a Stockbroker who holds a related degree plus their industry body recognised Diploma would only need to complete 2 subjects to meet their FASEA education requirements. Ethics being 1 subject and the 1 additional subject. The above appears to be either very misleading or ill informed

The Stock Brokers so do not want to concede the point that it's probably over for most of them. That's what people who think they have some power seem to hate - giving it up. As to this helping out in a "crisis' argument that's bull. What about all the rubbish you sold to help create the crisis?
The Professional Diploma of Stockbroking, which most hold, is 2 undergraduate subjects.
The FASEA Exam is a regulations exam, not a FP test. See the FASEA website.
As to Judith's comments on Ethics, if they only had that one post grad subject to do by 2026, they'd still be whinging about it and maybe not even do that.

For risk writers FASEA & LIF has been an unmitigated disaster. In 30 years, I argue I might just know a bit. Never had a complaint. Completed every industry life risk course available, and there are not, and never had been, any tertiary study available for the complex specialty of RISK ADVICE. Commerce, economics or accounting degrees, and the FPA/AFA Diplomas ALL pay lip service to life risk, just like the old full legal degrees did for Estate Planning. FASEA is pay lip service to life risk !

Risk writers have to do the right thing by clients or the client and future revenue walks. Same with stockbrokers.

What is not being debated is the influence of ASIC behind the scenes - they do not want specialists.

Both LIF & FASEA are BAD policy in implementation, and WILL NOT achieve their stated aims. LIF is directly responsible for a 40-50% reduction in NEW fresh life risk clients, driven in part by a 2 year clawback. Mature advisers with older books are not writing new business at 66% when they can increase old policies at 110% on a one year clawback.

ASIC of course have long aimed at eliminating risk commissions, yet another example of their "un-commercial" ideology.

Mature advisers are not writing risk at 66%, they are increasing existing policies at 110%, mmmm. Where does the actual clients best interests fit in there as that seems more like protecting ones business. You need to move into the 21st century with the rest of us, or sell the book and do something else. Lots of you older riskies have made money for jam for decades, and are sitting on massive books of commission only business that requires little or no servicing. Youve had really good times, you must admit that. However things are changing , so dont hold the rest of us back just as you want things to stay the same, as they arent , and they never will be.

I have been in the industry 50 plus years, never had a complaint against me, hold a Diploma of financial planning. Now restrict myself to risk insurance which is my choice.
Substantial experience with valued clients. Obviously the latest FASEA obligations should not apply to people like me.

Yes, the 'latest FASEA obligations' should, and do, apply to you Sunshine.
Go ask a recent Graduate, with a big HELP debt, how their job search is going at the moment. Then you can come back to this website and complain some more.

Where is the relevance? Might be also nice to come up with your real name and who you represent before you write any more offensive comments. Might also be nice to respect your peers.

Respect is earned Peter, our industry is far from that we have a lot to do before we can be a respected profession that’s why education is key to building trust

You do not build trust with what qualifications you have but how you treat your clients. It is not enough to have degrees etc as you are sounding like a tertiary snob.I wish you well but no tertiary degree will assist you in dealing with clients,staff and running a business. All of which I have done and built an empire via Associated Planners now Genesys.. The world is full of derelict degree holders. Do not become one of them. Whilst education is important it is not the road to success for yourself and your people.

and you are respected because you have a master of financial planning?

you sound like you are 30, have half your head shaved, and have a full sleeve tattoo

respect isn't earned by having a degree, it's by being a total professional which is a lot more than a measly degree and I have quite a few.

do you know why lawyers rank below-used car salespeople? they are a profession with a law degree? and are one of the 3 original "professions" along with the medicine and the clergy. so why do they stink?

you have a lot of growing up to do my friend.

to begin, get a tattoo. a full sleeve one, but if you get the full sleeve on the left arm make sure you shave the right part of your head. that way it will be in unison and really cool, then post it on LinkedIn.

you are gonna get a lot of street cred with that amongst your peers.

So basically for 50 years you have never bothered to upgrade your skill set, you have held the absolute minimum standard of a diploma of financial planning.

Of course the requirements need to to apply specifically to lazy people like you, You cant give Insurance advice without considering clients super requirements whether to hold it in or outside super.

People like you are the reason this education standard was brought in.

Hair dressers have more requirements put on them than financial planners

How can any of us argue that an industry with $2.7 trillion dollars of assets that is so important to Governments, Australians and Businesses should have people advising in it who have had less requirements put on them than Hairdressers

Do you not realise that we have to put in 60 professional hours per year. Every year. Not only are you ignorant but you should seek professional help. You need it based on your ill informed comments.

Yea that’s called CPD guess what every adviser needs to do that doesn’t mean you should avoid upskilling yourself from the bare minimum of a diploma

I have seen you make the same argument time and time again. you are a fool.

people have qualified at various points with what the requirements were at the time fool.

and i already passed the fasea exam and have more degrees than most FOOL

You are making a fool of yourself. No wonder you remain anonymous.

Don't you reckon someone with 50 years experience might be able to teach you a thing or two, even if you have a lot of experience/education yourself?

Yet at some point Peter will be lost to the industry and it wont be better because of that.

Yea who is the fool the one who completes a Masters in Financial Planning or the one who does the easy diploma

Patb2089
"How can any of us argue that an industry with $2.7 trillion dollars of assets that is so important to Governments, Australians and Businesses should have people advising in it who have had less requirements put on them than Hairdressers"
Before you get too high on that horse of yours remind me, what is the minimum education requirement of the Trustees?

The "hairdresser" comment is an old media lie that has been recycled over and again by those with an agenda against professional financial advice. Anyone who repeats it is clearly lacking in either intelligence or integrity.

Find me a retail Stockbroker in Australia that doesn't advertise they're a Financial Planner or advertise they provide wealth/retirement planning advice and I'll go back and join the FPA. ( a shiver just went up my spine at the thought).

I have been in the industry 40 years and never a complaint against me. I have an Accounting Degree, Commercial Law Degree, Diploma of Financial Planning and Diploma of Finance (i.e. 10 years of night school)........but yet FASEA consider me to be insufficiently educated. I am required to complete the FASEA Exam (which I am okay with) plus 4 additional Tertiary units of study (NOT okay). Truly Flummoxed !!!

Hi RR, I am a fasea degree holder and passed the exam, but not even Warren Buffett is qualified to give advice in Australia. so forget the rest.

warren has about 77 (billion) more reasons than me to be able to qualify to give financial advice.

our masters, of which we have many, AFSL, dealer group, compliance people, the BDM at the dealer group, the cleaner at the dealer group, ASIC, TPB, fpa, afa, aiofp, abcdefg, other monkeys, software people, paraplanners, outsourcing companies, other unnamed leeches, fasea to add a new one.

so many leeches on my teat i just cant shake em off and neither can you unless you leave.

there are many people a financial planner has to feed. people laugh at us. we are the biggest joke in town. i am actually leaving to become a lawyer instead. so easy. i could do the work of 5 lawyers and get paid what i am worth.

this industry is totally fucked. the last seminar jane hume did with the fpa, she laughed about it. that's how seriously they take us

Maybe try leaving the FPA, rather than leaving the industry. I suggest Jane Hume probably laughed when she heard how much you pay in membership fees to a body that is on the payroll of some large institution. You surely can't be serious to keep paying FPA fees and expecting representation and then come onto this forum and complain about the state of the industry.

I have no sympathy for stockbrokers I use to be one and they are the most dodgy sector in financial services it is exactly like the movie boiler room they just churn clients on crappy IPOs or small cap stocks just to get their commission I have not met one ethical stockbroker in the industry.

If people really want to know what to invest in the stock market they can use independent stock research houses like Clime Direct, Lonsec or Morningstar they may not be perfect in their equity analysis but they are 100 times better than stockbrokers who couldn’t give a crap about their clients.

I think risk advisors need to move to full advice because you can’t give insurance advice without thinking about super should insurance be held inside or outside super can depend on a lot of factors and you can’t just give insurance advice without thinking seriously about your super arrangements as most people have life and income protection insurance in super which are perfectly acceptable

I think Patb893 must be relatively new to our profession. Therefore it is obvious to me from your comments that you need a lot of education. That does not necessarily apply to others who have been around for many years and have lots of experience.Please do not tell me that it is necessary to do exams forever.We are here to assist clients not to be professional exam participants.

Sorry to disappoint Peter but been in the industry for 15 years have a bachelors in finance, grad dip in financial planning and applied finance.

Experience doesn’t mean you have an education seen plenty of experienced advisors who can’t even understand the basics. CPD isn’t the same as a degree

Sorry Pat but you clearly have not looked closely at insurance offers from super funds. Try the 50% IP benefit from PSSAp after 2 years on claim up until year 5. Try Q Super little effort where your 2 year benefit period STOPS if you get a TPD lump sum, and the lump sum tax on TPD will be a shock. Then there is OZ SUPER who apply an un-defined "REHABILITATION" test over the standard TPD test. And of course you would be aware that most default death & TPD covers drops off after age 37, just as your 25 year mortgage is still close to the original loan..

And yes I recommend cover in super if appropriate, but with warnings!!! And yes, if there is a need for retirement planning and investment advice I refer that on to a trusted and competent planner

So no, as a risk adviser there is no value in offering full service to any one under 50-they do not care until later.

I want to be a risk specialist for the next 5 years and then I plan to evacuate the mess we are in. FASEA has absolutely no demonstrable benefit to my risk only clients.

Just remember the FPA made a proposal that prior learning and a Degree in Commerce or Finance would be worth a maximum of 20 points out of 100..at best. A Bachelor of Financial Planning approved by the FPA owned FPEC (providing the Uni pays for accreditation of course) would be worth 100%. The difference between a Financial Planning and Commerce/Accounting/Finance/Economics degree is four subjects. If you're complaining about your degree not being recognized and you're still a member of the FPA you're an absolute disgrace and you deserve this mess. This is not FASEA's fault, they consulted and were told by your industry associations, so stop complaining. I myself wrote to FASEA about my post graduate qualifications and they were accepted. This highlights they were quite willing to listen. The FPA however saw it as a money making opportunity and this is where we're at now.

FASEA acutally got back to you with something useful? I just got responded by standard responses with links to their documents and go palmed off to go directly to my University for clarification. I was told it wasn't their responsibility to judge degree's validity in regards to the standards which seems strange.

The fools are those members who have been paying the FPA year after year to destroy their businesses in this manner. Games up. Instead, join other organisations who are committed to a more realistic path forward, unlike the FPA, who is destroying the industry.

Well said Steve. It's now a fight against Good versus evil. The Good are planners that want to be Professional, that want to make Advice affordable again and reduce red tape. None of that can achieved by being a member of the FPA. Time for change, time to stand up and say enough is enough.

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