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CFP-qualified advisers in high demand


Demand for highly qualified advisers will exceed supply as new standards come in.
25 Feb 2016
By Kristen Crawford

Consumer demand for certified financial planner (CFP)-qualified advisers would rise as incoming advice professional standards boosted trust in the industry, according to the FPA.

In an interview with financialobserver, FPA chair and advice firm Tupicoffs managing director Neil Kendall said the new standards would likely lead to a gap in supply when it came to adequately qualified advisers, which would help to push up the professionalism of the industry overall.

“With the standards that are being pushed up, there is not going to be a lot of new supply of financial planners for some time, so the demand for them will probably increase and the supply in the short term might not increase at the same speed,” Kendall said.

“Moving forward, it is going to be about the reputation of the financial planning profession, lifting standards and building a profession, and getting the industry to act like professionals will be the biggest thing to impact demand for advice.

“The more professional consumers see planners, the more likely they will be to seek advice.”

Kendall, who was recently appointed to chair the Financial Planning Standards Board globally, said part of his role was to ensure the CFP mark was one that not only consumers, but employers would trust moving forward.

“The CFP mark is a global standard with 162,000 financial planners worldwide and Australia is part of that organisation – we have 5500 CFPs in Australia, so we are an active part of that organisation,” he said.

“The CFP is a postgrad qualification and therefore means an applicant must have a relevant degree qualification or financial planning advanced diploma in order to enter the CFP program, which is at a master’s level.

“A lot of people are very confused about what their obligations are and where they sit in this interim period, waiting for what the government determines.”

Meanwhile, the FPA was continuing to work with government to reach a middle ground when it came to the incoming standards, he said.

“The legislation, when it arrives, will help people understand what the standard looks like and the government is working with us to try and find a standard that is appropriate for consumers but also attainable for financial planners,” he said.

“So we’re working with the government to get that standard at the right level, which clearly is not currently acceptable and is too low.

“The challenge will only be for the industry participants who will now have to do a significant upgrade to get up to whatever level is decided upon.”

He said he had observed an increasing demand in Australia for CFPs because they were less likely to be banned by ASIC and more often won the trust of consumers


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