Chief executive of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA), Deen Sanders, told a full house at the SMSF Association Conference that rumours about a ‘10-year rule’ regarding the value or time limit of qualifications were categorically untrue.
Despite much industry discussion and media coverage implying that FASEA was introducing a 10-year rule, Sanders was adamant that no such proposal had ever been the Authority’s policy. He said they had not decided about values or time limits.
Rather, he said the proposal had merely been referenced as a note regarding academic policy for institutions.
Sanders encouraged advisers to read communications from FASEA themselves, rather than rely on the media or other people to interpret them. He said that there had been a lot of both accurate and inaccurate readings of information provided by the Authority to date.
The 10-year rule rumours could be seen as a key example of such myths and misrepresentations running amok.
Sanders sought to bust many other myths that FASEA felt had been circulating about the proposed adviser education reforms.
He said that the idea that FASEA had settled on the policies it was going to enact was not accurate. He emphasised that the proposals are open for consultation, a process which would formally begin in the next week.
The reason the guidance had been released early was not because it had been decided, but because the Authority wanted to encourage educators to plan and build programs. It also wanted to prompt those that most needed new qualifications to start planning for the next six years.
“We are working hard and carefully to progress as many of the Standards as we can to help the marketplace prepare and get the right communication to the industry,” Sanders said.
He also clarified that further detail would be coming about degree equivalence options.
Throughout the talk, Sanders reiterated to an at times frustrated audience that the ultimate goal of FASEA’s reforms was to ensure that all Australians could have confidence in financial advice, and that the Authority and industry needed to work together to achieve that goal.