Knowledge of when to provide key documentation to retail clients, identifying breaches, and understanding the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) code of ethics are key problem areas in the latest FASEA exam results.
A record low 60% passed the July exam, which had 30% of candidates re-sitting as opposed to the recent average of 20%.
There were 14,070 passes recorded on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Financial Adviser Register (FAR).
According to data supplied by Wealth Data, there were currently 19,076 registered advisers on the FAR.
Under financial advice regulatory and legal obligations exam takers underperformed in:
- Demonstrating knowledge of when practitioners were required by law to provide a retail client with key documentation e.g. financial services guides/statements of advice etc.;
- Demonstrating knowledge of the components of key advice documentation that was provided to the client;
- Evaluating case studies and identifying breaches of financial disclosure obligations;
- Applying relevant sections of the Corporations Act when identifying responsible provider obligations, including breaches of those obligations; and
- Applying Tax Agents Services Act 2009 requirements to scenarios and identifying compliance and non-compliance.
Under applied ethical and professional reasoning and communication exam takers underperformed in:
- Demonstrating an understanding of the relationship of FASEA code to professionalism of entire industry;
- Applying best interests duty and associated obligations to clients in scenario based problems; and
- Identifying sources of judgement and biases and their influence on financial advice.
Under financial advice construction exam takers underperformed in:
- Demonstrating an understanding of the context in which financial advice was given and requested and how this impacts decision making; and
- Identifying inappropriate advice and how to comply with the code of ethics.
Over 1,700 advisers had booked for the September exam, to be held in metropolitan and regional locations (subject to COVID-19 protocols) and via remote proctoring from 9 to 14 September, 2021.
Over 320 advisers had booked for the November exam, which be held in person and online from 11 to 16 November, 2021.
Registrations had closed for the September exam, but the November exam bookings would closed on 29 October, 2021.
FASEA previously said it intended to give September exam takers their result before the 29 October deadline, so unsuccessful candidates would be able to register once their result was confirmed.