|Malaysia Lacks Syariah Registered Financial Planners, Says MFPC
By Santhia Panjanadan
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 (Bernama) -- While growth has been rapid in the Islamic banking and finance industry, there is a lack of Syariah Registered Financial Planners (RFP), says the Malaysian Financial Planning Council (MFPC).
Its President, Kee Wah Soong, said with the nation developing its Islamic banking and finance industry, there was much need to produce highly competent and qualified professional Syariah RFPs to meet the global best practices.
"In tandem with the industry's development, the prospect and demand for Syariah RFP will be bright and strong in the near future.
"Therefore, it is important to develop human capital for the industry in line with the national agenda," Wee told Bernama after MFPC's Chinese New Year celebration here Wednesday.
MFPC is an independent, self-regulatory organisation that promotes nationwide development and enhancement of the financial planning profession.
MFPC in 2009 introduced the Syariah RFP programme for its members and practitioners in the relevant field and has churned 59 qualified financial planners.
Kee said with the demand in Islamic financial industry increasing rapidly, MFPC aimed to produce about 1,000 qualified financial planners this year.
MFPC has also established the Syariah RFP Scholarship fund worth RM300,000 to benefit the public.
"With professional financial planners, MFPC could help to increase the pool of Islamic finance experts through training and education and to provide an understanding of the influence of the Syariah in the financial services business," he added.
Meanwhile, he said the demand was also there for conventional financial planners but more specialists in related areas were needed to meet the changes and trend in the financial industry.
Wee said MFPC is expected to secure recognition for its Syariah RFP from the Securities Commission by the middle of this year.
In Malaysia, there are two bodies that certifies and recognises financial planners - MFPC and Financial Planning Association of Malaysia.
Speaking on Malaysia's development of the industry, he said the industry was doing well with better awareness but there was room for further improvement in the public acceptance of the importance of financial planning.
"The market supply, capacity, awareness is there but market acceptance is not there as people still hesitate to pay for advisory (services). But the environment of acceptance is certainly better than five years ago.
"People have regained confidence to invest and spend, so they will continue to seek advice from planning experts," he said.
The potential for the industry to grow is brighter this year given the anticipation of a recovering economy, he added.