The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has been accused of acting beyond its legislative remit in terms of both its code of ethics and expectations around degree qualifications.
The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) has made the claim at the same time as producing an analysis weighing what the Government outlined within the explanatory memorandum attaching to the legislation and what FASEA had actually produced.
The analysis, produced by the AFA’s general manager, policy and professionalism, Phil Anderson claims that FASEA has set substantial additional education obligations for financial adviser and not adhered to the Explanatory Memorandum.
“A detailed analysis of Chapter 6 on Transitional Provisions for Existing Providers in the Professional Standards for Financial Advisers Explanatory Memorandum clearly demonstrates that FASEA have set substantial additional education obligations for financial advisers with a relevant degree, and are expecting the completion of a Graduate Diploma, rather than the suggested bridging courses (for advisers without a relevant degree) and are not recognising many older Diploma level courses or any Continuing Professional Development as specifically referred to in the Explanatory Memorandum,” the analysis said.
“In 2017 when the Parliament passed the Professional Standards for Financial Advisers Bill, financial advisers necessarily needed to rely upon the expectation that FASEA would comply with the statements of the Parliament in the Explanatory Memorandum,” it said. “It is clear that this has not occurred, and FASEA have sought to set the education standards at a much higher level. The current model fails to adequately recognise the training that experienced advisers have undertaken during their careers.”
The AFA’s analysis comes hard on the heels of continuing criticism of FASEA’s handling of its code of ethics, particularly perceived discrepancies between the code itself and FASEA’s guidance around the code.