Sunday, 17 August 2014

Australia: Cheating rife in financial planning

Shocking article in The Age about the situation in Australia regarding financial planners. Some snippets:

.... “The basic qualification to be a financial planner could be regarded as a joke were it not for the fact that financial illiterates armed with nothing more than this flimsy “qualification” are turned loose to advise people on their life savings, with often tragic results. That this has been the case for so long is yet another damning indictment of the slumbering regulator, ASIC.”

Senator John Williams, who is a member of the parliamentary joint committee, says: “You can walk out a shearing shed and do an eight-day crash course and then go and tell people how to invest their life savings. Something is wrong.”

.... Australians have seen recurring examples of rampant abuse of consumers and a lack of professionalism shown by the advisers they trusted, and he warns that only the ability of Australians to identify and place their trust in competent, ethical and more highly educated professional financial planners will re-build confidence in the nation’s markets.

As it currently stands, hairdressers, tyre fitters and mechanics require more onerous standards of education and work experience than a financial planner.

More criticism on ASIC can be found here.

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