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Draft code “fair” for industry: Mortgage Room’s Fuller

Mortgage Room co-founder Paul Fuller says the new draft code of conduct for financial advisers is “fair” for the industry, but admits it is tough on experienced advisers without a level 5 qualification.

Tuesday, October 23rd 2018, 10:50AM 1 Comment

Fuller, who has an AFA qualification, says he “doesn’t see anything to be afraid of with the new code” and believes the minimum qualification requirement (for a Level 5 certificate) under the code is “not un-achievable” for most mortgage advisers.

AFAs will be compliant with the new code once it comes into effect. While RFAs, who do not currently have a minimum qualification requirement, will be need to achieve a level 5 certificate.

Fuller said he broadly supported the new regime: “I did it [the AFA qualification] out of respect for my clients, to show I had put in my training. I feel it’s only fair that everyone has the same qualification. It reflects what we should be doing for our clients anyway.”

Knowledge through prior industry experience is not recognised under the draft code. Fuller said he felt sorry for seasoned mortgage advisers who have to take the Level 5 certificate to demonstrate their skills: “I do feel for some of my staff who have been in the industry for as long as I have, and have been in banking, and that experience doesn’t mean anything. But it will help them achieve their level 5,” he added.

Yet Fuller said even experienced advisers should be held accountable to modern standards: “Out of respect, having experience doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing right by the client. You can have all the experience in the world but are you keeping up with procedure? With the new framework, people have to keep up to date with all the changes. Everybody should be doing this, and there should be a benchmark. If you’re serious in your business and your career, you should be setting your goal to achieve that level 5.”

He said many advisers were already prepared and had their level 5: “The ones that have been proactive have their qualification but haven’t jumped to AFA status. But the ones who have procrastinated may find themselves under pressure to get things done.”

Fuller said time and cost demands would present the greatest challenge for mortgage advisers. He said this could force some older advisers to reassess their career: “For more mature advisers with only a few years left in the industry, this could potentially bring forward retirement.”

While Fuller broadly supports the new code, he said he would like to see further clarification on ongoing training requirements under the new system: “I was surprised there was no minimum requirement. I’m surprised there isn’t a clear understanding of how you keep your skills up to date. There may be more to come,” he added.

Tags: Angus Dale-Jones Code Committee Code Working Group

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Comments from our readers

On 25 October 2018 at 5:50 am Good Hamish said:
The requirement is not level 5 but ability equivalent outcomes of a level 5

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