The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA)’s education standards should include separate, streamlined education pathways for specialised advisers, or they could “kill” the risk advice industry, said non-bank dealer group Synchron.
Synchron director Don Trapnell warned that the current education proposals will force risk advisers to either become full-service financial advisers or leave the industry.
“What’s the point of life insurance specialist advisers learning in-depth financial planning topics when they are not going to advise on them? All this does is push advisers into being generalists, as opposed to specialists,” Mr Trapnell told Risk Adviser.
Mr Trapnell said this would ultimately end in poorer outcomes for clients, as it will be more difficult for them to access advice.
“Research from [Risk Adviser sister site] ifa has revealed that up to 75 per cent of advisers have already decided their retirement date is 31 December 2023,” he said.
“This is terrible for consumers because fewer advisers means more consumers will be forced to seek financial protection from providers advertising on morning breakfast shows, or from industry funds.”
Synchron wants FASEA and the government to instead introduce “a streamlined education pathway” for risk specialists, which would focus on “topics pertinent to risk” – including relevant superannuation and tax implications – but would not exceed what is necessary.
“We are endeavouring to generate debate. We want to go public and talk about the issue. We are encouraging advisers to talk to other advisers, to product manufacturers and to their local Members of Parliament,” Mr Trapnell said.
“If we increase the volume of the debate we hope that someone in Government, perhaps the Minister, will look at the education issue and question whether we really need to over-medicate what is an already heavily-regulated industry.”