The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) acknowledges the announcement by Government yesterday on strengthening and streamlining oversight of the financial advice sector.
Significantly, the Government announced the winding up of FASEA and the expansion of the role of the Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP) within the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) to create a single, central disciplinary body for financial advisers. Standard setting functions within FASEA will be transferred to Treasury.
AFA CEO, Philip Kewin said the AFA has been continually calling for the streamlining of regulation relating to financial advisers and while there is still more detail to come, this is a positive step towards removing unnecessary duplication for financial advisers, who have been at the frontline in helping their clients through the pandemic.
“Financial advisers and the advice industry as a whole have been hit with layers and layers of regulation that have increased the cost to provide advice without any clear consumer benefit,” Mr Kewin said. “While there is still much work to be done, we support moves that remove red tape for advisers and improve outcomes for consumers.”
Mr Kewin said that while FASEA will be wound up, advisers will need to continue to meet their obligations to pass the FASEA exam and ultimately obtain a Degree equivalent.
“Functions currently undertaken by FASEA will be transferred to other agencies,” he said. “Advisers will still need to pass the FASEA exam by the end of 2021 and achieve the education standard by the end of 2025. We expect further news in relation to the FASEA Code of Ethics.”
Legislation to implement the changes will be introduced into Parliament in the first half of 2021.
“The AFA will continue to campaign for better outcomes for advisers and the clients they serve,” Mr Kewin said.