As a Parliamentary stalemate developed around passage of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam extension legislation, questions were being asked about whether the Government would back the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) delivering class order relief to affected advisers.
Industry spokesmen including Financial Planning Association (FPA) chief executive, Dante De Gori, have questioned whether the Government could allow ASIC to deliver the class order relief to advisers in the same fashion it had done so for advisers with respect to the requirement to be a member of a code-monitoring organisation.
De Gori said that the whole exercise around the passage of the legislation through the Senate had become entirely frustrating in circumstances where both the Government and the Federal Opposition had reassured his organisation and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) that they would be supporting the FASEA exam extension legislation.
However, the exam extension legislation is not a piece of stand-alone legislation but, rather, part of an omnibus bill elements of which the Opposition has said it wants to debate.
There is no certainty about the ability of ASIC to deliver on class order relief with respect to the exam extension, and FASEA chief executive, Stephen Glenfield, made clear to a Money Management forum last year that the authority’s hands were tied on the exam time-table in the absence of amending legislation.
De Gori told Money Management that in the absence of the major parties seeing sense on the issue in the Senate today (Thursday) it was likely to be many weeks before the matter could be dealt with again.
That means that a lot of planners are going to have to make some hard decisions about how and when they are going to sit the FASEA exam in the limited time that may be left.