Mortgage brokers should undertake a more specialised financial education, says Dr. Mark Sinclair, managing director of financial services training company Mentor Education.
Last week, Sinclair called for legislation that draws a clearer educational distinction between comprehensive and limited financial advisers. Sinclair’s recommendations would signal a new means of qualification for mortgage brokers, who come under the banner of limited financial advisers.
Speaking to Australian Broker
, Sinclair said, “As it currently stands, mortgage brokers would be required to undertake a full 24-subject degree to give any personal financial advice. What would be more appropriate is that relevant Bachelor of Financial Planning subjects be required aligned to the limited personal advice that a mortgage broker would seek to provide.”
Sinclair believes that at a minimum, limited financial advisors should have completed two foundation subjects as part of a Bachelor of Financial Planning degree (with Ethics mandatory) along with three core subjects that offer specialisation. Those training to become a limited financial adviser should not have to study irrelevant subjects as part of a more generic financial degree, Sinclair proposes.
Industry professionals, says Sinclair, are also advocating changes to the financial education system in order to raise professional standards, even if it means some professionals going ‘back to school’.
“The financial planning and advice industry publicly embraces raising the education standards to a degree level, particularly for new entrants to the industry,” said Sinclair. “Existing advisers are arguing for an extended deadline – i.e 2023 rather than 2019 – and are rightly seeking credits for their current qualifications and related experience in the industry.”
Tightened standards and more specialised training would also have a long-term impact on consumer confidence. Sinclair added, “Demand is very high for financial planners and advisers to have increased levels of professionalism, trust and ethics.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to set the bar for qualifications and exams, and for financial planning and advising to be seen by consumers as a ‘profession’.”