Just a week before the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced its facilitative approach to its oversight of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics (FASEA) code of conduct, FASEA was urged to ask AISC for a one-year adviser code exemption.
The call for the one-year adviser code exemption was contained in a formal submission made to FASEA by the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) which had declared that irrespective of was done to the code, it would be virtually impossible for the financial advice profession to implement the required changes in time.
The AFA and the Financial Planning Association (FPA) have therefore taken great meaning out of ASIC’s formal statement that, in dealing with licensees around the code, it “will take into account the context in which AFS licensees are operating” and that “this includes the current dynamic regulatory environment, the timing of guidance provided by FASEA about the meaning of the code, and the evolving industry understanding about the meaning and implications of the code”.
The ASIC statement reflects a large number of the issues raised by the AFA and the FPA both with FASEA and with ministerial staffers in Canberra.
FASEA has been asked why it has not published the submissions filed with it as a result of the consultation process, in circumstances where its web site reveals 37 written submission were made with only three of them being listed as “confidential submissions”.
Importantly, ASIC was not listed as having filed a submission with respect to the Code of Ethics consultation between 20 March and 1 June, last year, nor in the consultation period between 21 November and 19 December.
However, FASEA chief executive, Stephen Glenfield has confirmed to Senate Estimates that submissions were received from ASIC giving rise to committee questions around the content of those submissions.