AFA gets an audience with O'Dwyer

The Association of Financial Advisers told its members it met with the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services to air its concerns with the FASEA proposals on professional standards.

On Monday the association drew Kelly O'Dwyer's attention to its concerns with the education standards of the proposal, including the definition of a related degree and the lack of recognition for unrelated degrees, advanced diplomas and professional designations.

According to a member release, the association expressed its concerns about the potential impact to the advice profession if a "practical solution" could not be found. The AFA said it asked O'Dwyer what the expected outcome would be, with the minister confirming there was no target for adviser attrition.

According to the AFA, O'Dwyer expressed a view that aspects of the national exam appeared to be unreasonable, including its four-hour length, 65% pass mark and a lack of preparation materials or practice exams. The AFA said O'Dywer would discuss its concerns with FASEA, though noted its independence.

In its member release the association recognised the need for an increase in professional standards, however it said the approach needed to be sensible, saying the "whole process needs to be about raising standards, not about reducing adviser numbers."

Separately, the association said last month the ongoing debate around the removal of grandfathered commissions was an "overreaction", with trail commissions contributing little to the overall income of financial advice practices in reality.

At the 2018 Association of Financial Advisers' National Roadshow in Sydney, AFA head of policy Phil Anderson said ASIC's argument about the prevalence of grandfathered commissions was misguided and not based on facts.

Read more: Kelly O'DwyerAFA-Association of Financial AdvisersASICPhil Anderson
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