The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has effectively given accountants only until the end of this year to consider applying for a limited licence or authorised representative (AR) status, according to SMSF Association chief executive, John Maroney.
The Association has used its submission responding to the FASEA draft legislation to complain that the educational standards, as outlined, have failed to “appropriately recognise or account for” the limited licence advice regime, particularly for accountants with a licence providing SMSF advice.
“We believe the education standards that advisers with a limited licence must comply with should adequately represent the advice that they provide on a day-to-day basis,” Maroney said. “It’s likely the standards will discourage most professionals who are intending to add financial advice to their services and, to a lesser extent, advisers who currently provide limited financial services, from meeting FASEA’s standards and providing advice.”
He claimed FASEA’s disregard for a legislated section of the financial advice framework appeared to contradict its goal of setting educational, training and ethical standards for all financial advisers who provided personal advice on relevant financial products to retail clients.
Maroney noted that, in its submission, the Association had proposed that a specific limited licence adviser pathway be created that provided a more appropriate framework for FASEA-related units individuals must undertake in a specialised area of limited advice.
It suggested that the framework would also provide the capacity to include and recognise the different Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) that was relevant to limited licence advisers in circumstances where, currently, the standards are more likely to require a limited licence adviser to complete more courses than a full licence adviser.
Maroney said the association also intended to lodge an official application for the Specialist SMSF Adviser (SSA) accreditation to be recognised as professional designation education.
“If accredited by FASEA, we propose that existing advisers will be eligible for RPL where they have completed the SSA, acknowledging that it demonstrates the highest level of SMSF knowledge.”
“We believe that RPL credit should still be awarded for current informal learning, experience and ongoing continuing professional development, most significantly to those advisers who have 10 years’ experience in providing retail advice and have documented ongoing CPD over that period,” the submission said.
The submission also asks FASEA for clarity surrounding relevant degrees, specifically relating to aggregating courses over several qualifications and including superannuation, retirement and insurance as relevant degree subjects.