A Money Management survey has revealed that deep suspicion of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) board among financial advisers.
With more than 150 respondents, the survey has revealed 98% stating they do not have confidence in the FASEA board and, when asked to state why, a significant proportion have pointed to what they see as the existence of agendas and conflicts on the part of some board members.
However, the survey has also revealed strong support for the objectives of FASEA with nearly 65% of respondents saying the support the intention of the regime.
But it is attitudes to the board which has proved most damning, with respondents using language such as “corrupt” and “conflicted” to express their views with many picking up on suggestions that the FASEA had acted well beyond its legislative brief.
“The board is conflicted with some working for education providers and then forcing advisers into having to do higher education by not recognizing any of their years of experience,” one respondent said. “Also, all have admitted that Code 3 is unworkable and goes further than Corporations Act and the law.”
“FASEA's mandate was not to rewrite law. Also, FASEA was supposed to take into account CPD and experience and they have not done this. There is no other "profession" globally where current professionals with over 10 or 20 years experience are driven out of their profession and businesses if they don't go back to Uni! Try telling my general practitioner of over 22 years that his old degree isn't good enough and he needs to go back to do eight units.”
Another respondent stated: “Talking about banning all conflicted remunerations – the FASEA board needs to set a good example – any board members with interests in providing the education and exam requirements shall step down immediately. Conflicts of interest exist in any industry including politics and it is how the conflicts are adequately and properly managed that shall be the foundation of good policy making”.
Of the only four respondents who supported the board, one said that FASEA had a great team passionate about creating standards aligned with building a profession while another stated: “Whilst difficult the standards are good for the community”.