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Brokers ‘not part of problem’ on education: NIBA

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The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) says a proposed new education framework for financial advisers should not apply to its members.

It told Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s financial adviser standards roundtable last week that NIBA College provides diploma courses accredited by the Australian Qualifications Framework, and its compliance courses meet Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) training requirements for advisers and responsible managers in the life and general insurance broking sectors.

“Given that there’s no evidence of issues of concern with education for brokers, we don’t see the need for insurance brokers to be part of an additional education framework for financial advisers,” CEO Dallas Booth told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

The meeting in Sydney last Wednesday was part of a consultation process arising from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services’ inquiry into plans to raise professional, ethical and education standards in the financial services industry.

The joint committee’s report, released in December, outlines a model featuring a “co-regulatory” partnership including government, professional associations, industry and academia.

The roundtable supports the joint committee’s recommendation for an entrance exam, a professional training year and tertiary qualifications for advisers. 

“There was broad agreement that education levels for financial planning qualifications need to be raised and that a new financial professionals education council should be established for the purposes of achieving that,” Mr Booth said.

However, he does not believe NIBA should be part of that council.

“We’re not aware of any concerns regarding professional qualifications for brokers, so I don’t see the need to [be part of] a new professional education framework.

“We are not part of the problem, and our position on that was made very clearly [at the meeting].

“We believe we have a strong education framework for brokers and strong frameworks for ensuring the professionalism, ongoing development and ethical standards of insurance brokers, which are regularly reviewed, including a thorough review last year.”

While recognising there are “serious issues that have to be addressed” in financial advice, Mr Booth says NIBA’s submission will emphasise that brokers already have rigorous educational frameworks in place and there are “no systemic issues for insurance broking”.

The roundtable was attended by peak industry bodies, consumer groups, academics and ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft.

Submissions on the joint committee’s model close on May 7. Find more information here.

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