AMP and big banks rush to lift planners’ qualifications

In a letter to AMP‘s 3800 advisers, AMP‘s head of advice and banking Rob Caprioli said that during the "past couple of months" staff had asked him "whether AMP is prepared to take a stand as a result of the negative attention our industry has been receiving". "You’ve made it clear you want to know what we plan to do to improve perceptions of the financial planning profession and restore consumer confidence in our industry.

NAB head of wealth Andrew Hagger, who is also chief executive of MLC, said: "MLC supports increasing education standards for advisers and we have recently set new education and qualification standards for NAB financial planners to ensure we continue to grow professionalism and trust in the industry.

Of Australia‘s approximately 18,000 planners, only about 5500 currently hold the CFP accreditation, which is run by professional association Financial Planning Australia. "We welcome the announcements being made by the major financial planning institutions in Australia in recognising CFP certification as being the gold standard in Australia and also globally," FPA chairman Matthew Rowe said.

Brad Cooper, the chief executive of Westpac’s financial advice arm, BT, said all Westpac’s existing financial advisers would be required to have a CFP qualification, the rival Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner qualification or a masters in financial planning by the end of 2019.

CBA was the first to lift educational standards, announcing in July that all new advisers at its Commonwealth Financial Planning arm would be required to have a degree and senior planners would be required to hold CFP certification.

By the end of the day, NAB, which owns advice group MLC, emerged as the institution setting the highest bar, saying its financial planners will be required to have a university degree and hold Certified Financial Planner (CFP) accreditation by 2017.

Read more here: SMH


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