Advice not yet a profession, says ASIC

According to ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell, the financial advice sector hasn’t reached the point it may be considered a profession, despite containing some professionals within it.

Kell made a statement in response to a question from senior counsel assisting the commissioner, Rowena Orr, regarding the status of the financial advice industry. Kell said that advice was not yet a profession in ASIC’s view. There are professionals in the industry, but the industry as a whole has not reached what would normally be regarded as the standards of a profession at this time. Kell added it was the objective of ASIC and most advisers that the sector become a profession, which has lead to the introduction of proposed professional standards and education.

Kell attributed the advice sector not yet reaching the standards of a profession to past practices around education and remuneration standards, as well as a failure for the sector to be well represented.

Kell said the standards around qualifications and competency that you need to participate in the financial advice sector have been poor on a widespread scale, which indicates that the sector is not yet in a position to be called a profession. Kell also noted that the financial advice sector doesn’t have any dominant professional association.