Universities worried by FASEA’s reforms

The Financial Advisers Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has universities on standby as it takes its time in rolling out the proposed reforms, causing some distress among course coordinators.

While most educational institutions tend to stay 12 months ahead of the industry, they’ve been frustrated by the lack of information provided by the regulatory body, according to associate professor at Deakin University, Adrian Raftery.

Raftery told Money Management that he was particularly worried about what FASEA’s changes will do to their graduate diploma given the lack of technical financial planning subjects incorporated into the postgraduate qualification.

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He said normally, graduate diplomas are comprised of eight subjects, two of which must be in line with the Tax Practitioners Board’s requirements of income tax and commercial law, and now three which must be FASEA’s proposed ethics, behavioural finance and financial services regulations courses.

Raftery added that any financial planning diploma requires some introduction to financial planning and a capstone course, which brings the total number of courses to seven, leaving one course left to fit in superannuation, retirement planning, estate planning, insurance, investments and portfolio courses.

“We’re trying to basically fit five subjects into one, which really isn’t very ideal at all, and there’s very few technical financial planning subjects incorporated into those eight subjects,” he said.

Raftery said he was keen to get the ball rolling and up the standards of advisers coming out of the woodwork, but a stall in enrolments as potential advisers await FASEA’s announcement might see an influx of students in later years, which has him worried it will put a massive strain on university resources. 

“I’m fearful of courses being run by casuals who may have a masters qualification or may not, but they’re not full time academics,” he said. “So, staffing resources of appropriately qualified academics is going to be an issue in 2023.”

Despite reservations, Raftery said the university already has gears in motion for what’s to come from FASEA and awaits an announcement eagerly.

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Professor Raferty, FASEA is not about making Financial Planners better educated, it's about culling the current adviser community, that will result in getting rid of the good, the bad and the the incompetents.
This all could have been resolved sometime ago, if advisers had been directed to complete the complete DFP program run by Deakin University via the FPA or some other University.
By handing over adviser qualification/practicing to RTO's organisation that allowed advisers after a 4 day course loose on an unsuspecting public diluted the quality of adviser competency.

As far as installing ethics into an adviser go, most people you would expect are born with integrity and honesty.
No amount of education is going to change bad or poor behaviour, if you are bereft of those qualities from the outset.
FASEA is now likened to using a jack hammer to crack a walnut.
The only result I can see, if what is being proposed is implemented, will be akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Dear Associate Professor at Deakin University, Adrian Raftery, please confirm and fully disclose Deakin Uni's and your conflicts of interest in FASEA's education proposals.
I'm sure with your course planning and expected adviser numbers required to complete these courses that Deakin Uni and yourself are licking your lips at the $$ on offer. Please confirm the expected increase in income to both Deakin Uni and yourself from FASEA imposed course fees and text book sales.
Surely a fair conflict of interest and disclosure of benefits is warranted.

Well said alleycat. Having people give advice with just the DFP is craziness. But FASEA is all about culling advisers. The problem with it all is that now that there will be no commissions no one new will ever want to become an adviser so there will be a massive shortage.

Everyone will get general advice only from high school dropouts working in call centres

We have already seen FASEA's proposals about recognition of prior degrees heavily favour law related courses while giving little credit to technical or numerate disciplines. Now it seems they are taking the same approach with the requirements for new degrees. Dumbing down the technical components and heavily focusing on legal issues.

Perhaps this is no surprise when you take a look at the background of the FASEA Chair...

"Catherine Walter AM is a solicitor" "She holds a first class honours Bachelor of Laws, a Master of Laws and an MBA, all from the University of Melbourne."

Do Australian consumers really want their financial advisers to provide esoteric legal waffle? Or do they want them to provide practical financial advice?

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