The Government has released exposure draft legislation and consultation documents for the Better Advice Bill, including an increase in the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam fee.
The bill was introduced into Parliament on 24 June, 2021, and would cover areas including establishing a single disciplinary body and registration system for financial advisers, a single disciplinary and registration system for financial advisers that provide tax (financial) advice service and the wind-up of the FASEA into the Australian Securities Investments Commission (ASIC).
Within the legislation, it said the exam run under ASIC would cost $948 compared to $540 plus GST under FASEA.
It would also cost $218 for ASIC to review the marking of one or more answers to non-multiple choice questions.
This would apply to those advisers who had not yet passed by the exam by the end of 2021 and needed to re-sit in 2022.
Advisers to be registered as a relevant provider by ASIC would also need to pay a fee of $95.
Other measures related to the exam included the removal of the three-month waiting period before being able to re-sit the exam and more flexibility to allow candidates to sit the exam in person, virtually or through alternative arrangements.
Consultation was being sought on:
- Setting the criteria for when ASIC must refer matters to the single disciplinary body;
- Specifying the administrative sanctions made against a financial adviser that must be included on the Financial Advisers Register;
- Extending the deadline to complete the financial adviser exam to 30 September 2022 for financial advisers who have attempted the exam twice before 31 December 2021;
- Proposing new fees for the financial adviser exam and registration of financial advisers from 1 January, 2022; and
- Outlining the registration, education and training requirements for financial advisers providing tax (financial) advice services.
The Government said it intended the legislation would come into force on 1 January, 2022, and stakeholders were invited to comment on the exposure draft by 15 October.