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Twenty submissions from FINSIA on behalf of members

by Lewis Panther | 10 Dec 2018
FINSIA has made 20 submissions on behalf of members during 2018, reflecting the size of the challenge facing financial services.
 
That’s as many as were made during the preceding five years - signalling just how much upheaval is going on in the industry at the moment.

All but three submissions - to the Royal Commission, FASEA, the Productivity Commission, GBEStB, New Zealand government, and ASX’s corporate governance council - have been made since June. 

Throughout, FINSIA has continued to take a forward thinking approach focusing on professionalisation as a fundamental part of the process to restore trust in the industry.
 
We have also launched three new professional qualification courses that go from the ground floor to the C-suite, as a way of giving those in the sector the chance to show just how competent they are as well as giving them the opportunity to show pride in their work.

“It has been an unprecedented year of upheaval and change for the industry,” said Chris Whitehead, MD and CEO.

“While much of the focus has been on the Royal Commission, that is just a fraction of the analysis and commentary we have been carrying out.

“FINSIA also carried out detailed work to submit to the Productivity Commission. Though most of our submissions have been for FASEA.”

In fact, seven of the submissions have been to the body set up last year to oversee training and ethical standards for licensed financial advisers, requiring them to meet proposed education standards by 1 January 2024. 

Reports into the fallout from the overhaul, suggest more than a quarter of those in the advice industry will quit rather than carry out the educational upgrades.

Whitehead added: “As I said after we made our first submission to FASEA, financial advice has been the subject of successive waves of reform since the 2009 Ripoll Inquiry. 

“The potential loss of long-serving advisers from the industry was noted to leave clients vulnerable, particularly in cases where they are advanced in years and have long-established relationships with their existing adviser.

“More weight should be given to experience with a clean record. And FINSIA has made sure we have been lobbying for that.”

Head of Standards and Education Kylie Blundell, who has been at many of the FASEA workshops to discuss the reforms to make sure our members are kept up to speed, said it was good news that one course many FINSIA members would have carried degree equivalency under the new regime.

Although it is in draft form, the government’s new education and ethics regulator will recognise members who completed their SIA Graduate Diploma before December 2008.

She added: “It’s good news for all of those financial planners who took the courses and have gone on to develop their skills in the workplace, building up their businesses in the process.

“We know there has been a great deal of confusion and worry about what previous training would be taken into account by FASEA. At least we now know where we stand.

“It should be noted this legislative instrument is still draft and is yet to be confirmed. But we expect it should go through.

“For those, who haven’t got the educational requirements they are ultimately going to have to meet the new requirements.”

FINSIA’s return to becoming an education provider has seen the launch of Professional Banking Fundamentals, Certified Professional Banker and Chartered Banker by Experience.

“FINSIA is really excited to to be back, providing professional qualifications after too many years away,” she said.

“To be blunt, we are plugging a gap. We did an extensive study of the Australian market and identified the need for specific and relevant qualifications in banking,” explained Blundell.

“So we have put together a full suite of practical qualifications designed by industry practitioners for industry practitioners."

“They’re in-depth and rigorous but can be taken as part of an institution’s sponsored program or individual’s daily working regime."

“The beauty of these programs is how easily they can be integrated into a bank’s existing learning and development frameworks."

“Some of them can be completed as stand-alone modules or as an alternate entry point to achieve the Chartered Banker status."

Whitehead said: “Going into 2019, we will continue to advocate on behalf of our members to ensure the voice of the individual is heard and continue working to raise standards of professionalism across the whole industry.”

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