Protect terms ‘financial planner’ & ‘financial adviser’, says FPA

Protect terms 'financial planner' & 'financial adviser'The FPA has told the Parliamentary Joint Inquiry into proposals to lift the professional, ethical and education standards of the financial services industry that the terms ‘financial planner’ and ‘financial adviser’ should be protected.

“It is the FPA’s strong belief that to strengthen consumer protection and to reinforce compliance to professional standards, the law must restrict the use of the titles financial planner and financial adviser to only those that are a member of a Regulator / government body recognised professional body,” said the submission.

“There is a high level of confusion in the market, within industry, media, Government and consumers, about the definitions and roles of financial planners, financial advisers, those that just sell financial products and those operating unlicensed,” said the FPA.

Financial advisers education “extremely inadequate”: CHOICE

Financial advisers, Financial Planners education“Current education and qualification requirements for financial advisers are extremely inadequate,” said Choice in a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee Inquiry into proposals to lift the professional, ethical and education standards in the financial services industry.

Choice recommends the “immediate establishment of a national exam”, with higher levels of education to be phased-in.

However, “these efforts, while important, will not resolve the systemic issues with financial advice. Increasing qualification standards without addressing structural conflicts will only lead to better educated financial advisers taking advantage of consumers,” said Choice.

Financial advice industry not on the “path to professionalism”

Financial advice industry professionalism“The current obligations imposed on financial advisers at law do not reflect an industry on the path to professionalism,” according to two superannuation industry bodies.

This was contained in the joint submission by Industry Super Australia (ISA) and the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services. This committee is conducting an inquiry into proposals to lift the professional, ethical and education standards in the financial services industry.

“In recent years, financial advice has become increasingly important due to compulsory superannuation, a greater number of consumers entering retirement with substantial superannuation investments and the increased complexity of financial products,” said the submission.

Too late for financial planners to self-regulate: National Seniors

Too late for financial planners to self-regulate“National Seniors believes that it is too late for the [financial planning] sector to self-regulate and that national professional, ethical and educational standards must be developed and set by Government.”

This statement is contained in National Senior’s submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee Inquiry into proposals to lift the professional, ethical and education standard of financial planners.

“Approximately 70 per cent of National Seniors members with superannuation have obtained professional financial advice on how to invest their superannuation,” said the submission.