The Financial Services Institute of Australia (Finsia) has signed a deal with the UK’s Chartered Banking Institute to make a new professional certification available to Australian financial services professionals.
The deal is part of a strategic move away from education and member services and towards the “professionalisation” of financial services under the leadership of new chief executive Chris Whitehead.
Mr Whitehead, who has headed up Finsia since August 2016, said the organisation will act as a “connector” between industry, regulators and education providers to provide certifications and raise standards of competency and conduct.
“Finsia recognises the current challenges facing financial services, and the appetite for change and the need for a professional body to help restore pride and trust in the financial services community,” Mr Whitehead said.
“After much consultation, FINSIA has demonstrated it is the right vehicle to do this. It is the right time for us to take a critical lead to collaborate with organisations that will help shape the future of the financial services by raising standards of professionalism.”
Finsia has also become a “committed partner” of the Banking and Finance Oath, “supporting its role in nurturing a strong ethical foundation”, Mr Whitehead said.
Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) chief executive Anna Bligh backed the new strategic direction from Finsia.
“The Australian Bankers’ Association supports the continual improvement of professional standards in the banking and financial services industry,” Ms Bligh said.
“Professionalisation is not only important for rebuilding trust, but also in raising the standards of ethical conduct, having the highest integrity and competence, and making sure individuals in the industry can be proud to be in the banking profession. The ABA looks forward to working with Finsia in driving professionalisation.”
Banking and Finance Oath chief executive John Laker also gave his support for the development for a “framework and strategy to raise professional standards” within financial services.
“We believe a commitment to ethical behaviour has to be at the core of those professional standards. We look forward to working with Finsia in the future to ensure this happens,” Mr Laker said.
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