In June 2019 there were 26,100 Financial Advisers in Australia. In early January 2021, there are 20,616.
Almost half of the remaining advisers have not yet passed the industry exam. Failure to pass by December 2021 means they will lose their right to practice. (All FB Wealth Advisers have passed this exam).
One industry education group estimates there will be as few as 15,000 advisers left by 2022. Few young people are joining as the barriers to entry are simply too high and the compliance too onerous.
Meanwhile the Government and ASIC are scratching their heads trying to work out how to make advice more affordable?
We find this incredibly frustrating. Experienced and highly regarded advisers, especially insurance specialists, have been required to re-apply for their jobs, with an exam that frankly has no application to the real world.
The bureaucrats and consumer groups believe this is a good thing, as it is weeding out the uneducated. The implication of course is that uneducated equals dishonest. An incredibly insulting attitude.
There are elements of financial services that do not require multiple degrees. While our staff are well qualified, we all know that is not a pre-requisite for honesty and ability to perform our work. It may be a good start, but experience counts. So does longevity, as it indicates commitment to a vocation and to clients.
We hope the Government sees sense and intervenes before advice is priced out of the reach of most Australians.