The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) actively urged the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) to set out sanctions in the adviser code of ethics.
ASIC’s urgings have been revealed in ASIC’s submission to FASEA’s consultative process around the code made public this week as a result of questions asked during Senate Estimates.
The ASIC submission said that the regulator had noted “that the code does not set out any sanctions for breaches of the code while noting that “the Explanatory Memorandum to the Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Bill 2016 contemplates that the code may include sanctions”.
“We encourage FASEA to consider setting out sanctions, and the code breaches for which FASEA would expect different sanctions to apply, in the final version of the code,” the submission said.
“The selection and application of sanctions is an area in which consistency between different compliance schemes would be valuable,” it said.
“ASIC has identified a broad list of sanctions that monitoring bodies may wish to impose for code breaches in our Consultation Paper 300 Approval and oversight of compliance schemes for financial advisers,” the submission said.
ASIC then made it clear that it did not want to be agency responsible for the sanctions.
“… we do not think it is appropriate for ASIC to provide guidance on which sanctions should apply to particular breaches because we are not responsible for setting the ethical standards and this, in our view, would involve making a judgment about the seriousness of particular breaches of the code,” it said.