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Government uses FASEA ‘as a weapon against advisers’

Peter Johnston
Neil Griffiths
24 November 2021 — 2 minute read

Peter Johnson has taken aim at the government following discussion this week that the advice industry will experience a “mass exodus” in 4 years.

Recently, the Advisers Association chief executive Neil Macdonald wrote in an opinion column that the industry will see a “mass exodus of financial advisers that will make the current stream of exits look like a trickle in percentage terms”. 

Speaking to sister brand ifa, the executive director of the Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals (AIOFP) echoed Mr Macdonald’s comments.

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“We have always maintained that FASEA is a weapon used against advisers by this government to intimidate them out of the industry,” he said.

“Where else in the world do you need to pass an exam before you finish a degree? How can you not seriously recognise previous relevant degrees and experience?”

Mr Macdonald’s column received overwhelming feedback, with many comments coming from advisers who agreed saying they would be exiting the industry by January 2026.

“We are lobbying for any adviser with 15 years’ experience and a clean record does not need a degree and any risk adviser with less than 15 years’ experience only completes a risk content relevant degree,” Mr Johnson said.

“We must stop the exodus of advisers out of the industry.

“This government has been brutally uncompromising in the past but it will be different over the next few months, their jobs are now on the line. If they don’t listen they may be on the dole by the end of May.”

The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) also supported calls for changes to the education requirements. In a statement given to ifa, AFA said it is “particularly concerned about the number of existing advisers who have passed the exam, however might decide that meeting the education standard is impossible to justify”.

“For some advisers with a relevant degree and further credits for the ADFP (or equivalent) or a professional designation, it will be achievable, however for those older advisers faced with the completion of an eight subject Graduate Diploma, it will be overwhelming,” the statement reads.

The AFA renewed its call for the FASEA education standard to address what was set out in the explanatory memorandum to the 2017 Professional Standards Bill, which includes: “For the avoidance of doubt, the new law explicitly states that courses undertaken before the new law commences must be taken into consideration. The body may take into account diploma or degree courses, licensee training courses or CPD.”

“We understand that the Government will never agree to the removal of any requirement for further education, and they will argue that the extended period of time to complete the study is a concession,” AFA’s statement continued.

“We nonetheless believe that what is required should be more achievable, particularly for those who are closer to the end of their career.”

The AFA suggested to ifa that if advisers are tasked with doing four or five subject credits as opposed to eight, more will be prepared to “have a go at it” and remain in the industry.

Tony Zhang

Tony Zhang is a Journalist at SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.

Since joining the team in 2020, Tony has covered various publications across the legal, financial and professional services sectors including Lawyers Weekly, Adviser Innovation, ifa and Accountants Daily.

Government uses FASEA ‘as a weapon against advisers’
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