Exam candidates have until end of year to come off FAR

Advisers who have not passed the adviser exam and want to continue practicing have until the end of the year to come off the Australian Securities Investments Commission’s (ASIC’s) Financial Adviser Register (FAR) to avoid meeting the ‘new entrant’ requirements.

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) outlined the two scenarios to Parliament earlier in the year for currently registered advisers who were required to pass by the 1 January, 2022, deadline.

If an adviser did not want to re-start as a new entrant, they could cease being an adviser before 31 December, 2021, and to re-enter the industry they would only be required to have passed the adviser exam.

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FASEA encouraged advisers to contact their licensee to discuss next steps if were required to have passed the exam by the 1 January deadline.

Phil Anderson, Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) general manager for policy and professionalism, noted the alternative option during an AFA regulatory update at the end of last month.

“Advisers do have an alternative and that alternative is to come off the Financial Adviser Register before the end of the year and then sit the exam at some stage next year,” Anderson said.

“They would not able to operate and would not be able to practice until they pass the exam and then come back onto the register.”

However, existing advisers who had sat the exam twice before 2022 still had until 30 September, 2022, to pass the exam.

ASIC would schedule three exams before the September deadline, as well as a fourth after the deadline.

With ASIC responsible for the exam, it would cost $948 to sit, compared to $540 plus GST under FASEA.

“It’s important to note that ASIC is going to be administering the exam, so FASEA comes to an end at the end of December and ASIC takes over from January,” Anderson said.

“They are still in the process of negotiating a vender and we will not have the exact timetable for those exams next year for a little while.

“We’re going to have less people sitting so the scale of economy won’t be there next year. This is a number the Government has set through the regulations.”

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