FASEA contradicting ASIC on ‘career break’ pathway

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has muddied the water for financial advisers as what it has said about ‘alternative’ pathways for advisers who do not pass the exam this year contradicts guidance from the corporate regulator, according to an association.

Speaking to Money Management, the Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers Association (SAFAA) chief executive, Judith Fox, said she could not see how the ‘career break’ pathway which FASEA had confirmed would work.

Fox pointed to ASIC guidance which said it would unlikely grant relief on the professional standards for reasons such as taking a career break, taking a break due to health-related issues, or employed in another role or occupation.

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“I look at that guidance from the regulator, and I look at the legislative requirements which say once you’re off the Financial Adviser Register (FAR) you have to come back as a new entrant, and we’ve heard from the minister just recently that advisers have to pass the exam this year to provide advice next year,” Fox said.

“So, I just can’t see how that [career break] option applies. Ultimately, we need clarification from FASEA.”

Fox said her members were “unbelievably confused” and that this level of confusion was not needed given there were only three exams left.

“Our concern is that this entire discussion, which was raised by FASEA, muddies the water for advisers at a critical time because there are only three exam sittings left and we’re encouraging all advisers to sit the exam,” she said.

“FASEA’s comments have created extreme confusion and have potentially given false hope to people that think they’ve got another opportunity next year. FASEA needs to give clarification.”

The guidance from ASIC on relief from the professional standards said: “ASIC can grant exemptions from or modifications to the law in certain situations. You can apply to ASIC for relief from the Corporations Act.

“ASIC will generally not grant relief that would reverse the usual and intended effect of these reforms. The intent of the professional standards reforms is to raise education, training and ethical standards of the financial advice industry. Given this intent, ASIC is unlikely to grant relief to a person who was not able to meet the ‘existing provider’ definition because they were, for example:

  • Taking a career break;
  • Taking a break due to health-related issues; or
  • Employed in another role or occupation;

during the period specified in the definition.”

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Why is anyone taking those comments from FASEA seriously? They were just lying to deflect cricism. A pattern that has been repeated over and over during their disastrous reign. The sooner it is wound up the better

The total timeframe available to pass the exam is two and a half years. Everyone will have had some distractions and difficulties during that time. But surely two and a half years is plenty, regardless of those difficulties. Anyone who hasn't passed in that time either doesn't want to, or isn't capable. Time for them to move on from the industry, and the industry to move on to other issues.

That's pretty much how I've always understood the FASEA process. Criticism aside of the whole process which we could debate for years to come, the fact is December 31 is "game over". What next year will look like is open to speculation, but forget this career break nonsense. It's a trap.

So next year you want to change AFSLs and the standard process is you must resign from AFSL 1 before AFSL 2 takes you on.
So do these changes mean you are Off the FAR and then re-enter as a new entrant ?
Wouldn’t surprise me how FARSEAcal this whole thing has been.

ASIC or FASEA - which one is telling the truth?
What a wonderful situation from those cleaver people on Government Funded salaries and bonuses. Ethics and professionalism?

This issue is - Money Management is not the place to try and understand legislation and regulations. SAFAA just need to read the legislation.

So why is SAFAA making all these press commentaries now? Where were they over 2 years ago on behalf of their members?
Or is it the reality of not many of their stockbrokers are actually passing?

more evidence of the incompetence, mis-information of the current regime; mis-management on steroids; right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. Imagine if we gave advice with so little capability

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