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Specialised Financial Services

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Specialised Financial Services sector, which is one component of the Financial Services industry, and includes mercantile agency, personal trust administration, risk management, anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing management.

The Specialised Financial Services sector includes a range of technical financial services with a number of different applications. Mercantile Agents complement the Banking and Insurance sectors, providing debt collection and investigation services following missed payments or claims. Trust administration is the management of a trust property for the benefit of beneficiaries after the settlor's death.

Nationally recognised training for Specialised Financial Services is delivered under the FNS – Financial Services Training Package.

Information sourced from the Financial Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

For information on other financial services, see the Financial Services cluster page.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and skills forecasts

Employment trends

For information on employment trends, see the Financial Services cluster page.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in Specialised Financial Services-related qualifications rose between 2015 and 2016 before falling in both 2017 and 2018. Program completions in these qualifications peaked in 2015 and fell in the following years. There was a very small rise in completions between 2017 and 2018. Qualifications in this sector tend to occur at the certificate III or diploma or higher levels. In 2018, the area of mercantile agents had the most program enrolments within this sector, followed by anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing. Due to the varied nature of this sector, there are a range of intended occupations for these qualifications, including Credit and Loans Officer, External Auditor, and Finance Broker.

All Specialised Financial Services-related qualifications were delivered by private training providers, and the vast majority of subjects were funded through domestic fee for service arrangements in 2018 (91%). New South Wales has the highest proportion of students enrolled in Specialised Financial Services-related qualifications at 63%. The majority of training was delivered in New South Wales (81%), with Queensland (15%) and Victoria (4%) making up the remaining portion.

There are very few apprentices and trainees in this sector. Apprentice and trainee commencements have been declining since 2014. There were 5 commencements in 2018, up from no commencements in 2017. Completions rose overall between 2010 and 2015 before falling in 2016. Completions peaked at 120 in 2015 and fell to a low of 7 in 2018.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET Students by Industry. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs
 

According to the Financial Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast, demographic changes will shape the trust administration sector through increasing focus on products required for the management of the financial affairs for ageing Australians who may no longer be able to make financial decisions for themselves, such as powers of attorney and financial administration orders. Communication skills and customer relationship skills are increasingly important in the trust administration sector as the sector considers what, if any, their future role (legislatively or otherwise) will be in assisting to identify elder abuse and ensure customers are not under duress. In the future, this may require trust administrators to assist in identifying issues when drafting and administering powers of attorney and financial management.

A focus on ethical service and risk management is increasing across the Financial Services industry, driven by changes in the regulatory environment, professional standards and public scrutiny. This is likely to increase employers' demand for skills such as compliance and risk management.

The risk and compliance jobs market is currently strong, providing plenty of new opportunities in the sector. For example, banks are looking for more workers across operational risk and conduct risk, anti-money laundering and financial crime operations, and regulatory compliance roles. In the last year alone, there has been an increase of 48% in risk and compliance job listings. Given that compliance and risk job roles require a specialised skill set, it can be difficult for employers to find suitable workers for the role.

The above Skills Forecast states that Mercantile Agents need skills relating to: maintaining and preparing financial records, resolving disputes, collecting debts, serving legal processes, identifying, locating and notifying debtors of overdue accounts, and complying with debt collection guidelines and relevant legislation. Data management skills are critical for mercantile agents as technology offers new ways to track customers known as 'skip tracing', and to connect customer information and data to support the debt recovery process. Mercantile agents also need skills to manage difficult interactions with customers who are experiencing financial hardship or are struggling to pay their debts.

Industry consultations have highlighted changes which necessitate updates to the training products for these specialisms:

  • Mercantile agents training products need updating to reflect the outcomes of the Senate Enquiry and changes in industry regulation.
  • Trust administration qualifications need updating to address changes in legislation, emerging areas, and to remove overlap to provide a clear pathway for progression. The extent of training within organisations in this sector varies greatly, and learners need to use the qualifications to supplement their internal training to gain a broader knowledge of trust administration beyond their immediate role, so they are better equipped to do their job.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • FNS – Financial Services Training Package
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing
    • FNS51710 - Diploma of Applied Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Management
    • FNS51715 - Diploma of Applied Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Management
    • FNS80115 - Graduate Diploma of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism FinancingFNS51710 - Diploma of Applied Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Management
  • Mercantile Agents
    • FNS30410 - Certificate III in Mercantile Agents
    • FNS30415 - Certificate III in Mercantile Agents
  • Personal Trusts
    • FNS41311 - Certificate IV in Personal Trust Administration
    • FNS41315 - Certificate IV in Personal Trust Administration
    • FNS42215 - Certificate IV in Personal Trust Administration
    • FNS52015 - Diploma of Personal Trusts
  • Risk Management
    • FNS50811 - Diploma of Integrated Risk Management
    • FNS50815 - Diploma of Integrated Risk Management
    • FNS60811 - Advanced Diploma of Integrated Risk Management
    • FNS60815 - Advanced Diploma of Integrated Risk Management.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program enrolments
  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document.

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

FNS – Financial Services Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2018 commencements
  • 2010 to 2018 completions
  • 2018 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2018 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.
Updated: 03 Feb 2020
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