Advisers working across the National Australia Bank's (NAB's) planning business will be able to boost their academic qualifications through a partnership with Deakin University.
As part of the alliance between the bank and university, NAB-aligned advisers will have access to Deakin's Bachelor of Commerce (Financial Planning), Master of Financial Planning and Master of Professional Practice (Financial Planning) programmes.
The announcement came after the annual Money Management Salary Survey found that advisers working for retail bank-aligned groups had the highest levels of academic achievement, with 29 per cent reporting to hold a Masters qualification, and a further 19 per cent having a Post Graduate qualification.
NAB executive general manager, wealth advice, Greg Miller, said the partnership with the Deakin Business School, DeakinPrime and DeakinDigital would enable the bank's advisers to provide better advice and boost consumer confidence in the industry.
"This initiative is another demonstration of NAB's commitment to increasing professional standards, adding to our continuing focus on increasing adviser education levels and requiring all advisers across our network to be members of a professional association," he said.
"We believe ethics is critical to the ongoing professionalism of the industry and should be incorporated through professional learning as well as within ethical codes and processes of professional bodies."
The partnership between NAB and Deakin builds on the bank's 2014 pledge to boost the minimum education standards of its planners beyond the current industry standard of RG 146, with its planners now required to hold or be in the process of competing higher level qualifications including an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning or higher.
The Money Management Salary Survey found that just 15 per cent of planners across aligned and non-aligned practices did not meet NAB's criteria.