Minister to be told of FASEA failings

Assistant Treasurer, Stuart Robert will be told next week of the financial planning industry’s disappointment with the lack of progress achieved by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) when he meets with representatives from the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA).

The AFA chief executive, Phil Kewin has written to members informing of his organisation’s intentions and lamenting FASEA’s apparent failure to respond to issues which had been put to it in industry submissions.

“We had hoped that by now we would have all the answers on the FASEA requirements, however this is not the case. Some may find this frustrating, however we ask you to stay resilient and to have faith in the future for our great profession,” Kewin’s message said.
“We are greatly disappointed by the lack of change delivered by FASEA in response to our submissions. In our view there is still a lot of work to do in order to get the Professional Standards right.”

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“We have written to the FASEA CEO to express our concern. We will also raise our concerns with the Assistant Treasurer, The Hon Stuart Robert MP, when we meet with him again next week, as he has been actively engaged and keenly interested in progress. We will keep you appraised as to our strategy to deal with what happens next.”

Kewin’s message to member said that while the AFA did not doubt a lot of work had been done, the organisation believed a lot of work remained to be done tog et the standard right and that the time-frames had not been ideal, “given the ‘live’ date of 1 January 2019 for some FASEA requirements”.

“We recognise that there will be a number of advisers who have already embarked on their study journey, however, for many their future remains unclear other than the fact that we are all committed to professionalism and ensuring a bright future and great advice for more Australians” his message said.

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Good on the AFA for showing leadership in the FASEA farce. So called "consultation" has been in name only, and despite hundreds of submissions to FASEA from a range of stakeholders, they have incorporated very little of the feedback provided. The way they have handled this is a disgrace and the Minister should use his powers to pull this so called "independent" body into line.

It's not the lack of progress that is frustrating advisers, so much as the fact that the standards they have released are unfair, ill-conceived, against the spirit of the legislation and inconsistent with the inquiries which led to the formation of FASEA. If Stuart Robert doesn't move quickly on this, it will blow up big time. The mainstream media will eventually pick up on this story. It is bad enough that our profession has been dragged through the mud in recent times. But how bad will it look when the public discover the board overseeing ethics and professional standards reforms, is a conflict-ridden basket case?

The constant problem with proposals from FASEA is that there is no recognition of long standing reputable advisers who will not benefit one iota from re-education! Particularly education alongside fresh face youngsters straight from school. Give us a break . Wake up every body, including Politicians.
Just what can be expected from a representative of National Seniors Australia (a group with emphasis on old age pensioners) with little sympathy for the self funded retirees, from representatives of educational establishments greedy for more money and keen to gouge the pockets of advisers, or from a professional Ethicist who invents the convoluted study of ethics for his personal gain. (Ethics is behaving honestly, competently and fairly, THAT'S ALL!!!) And then we have the professional Committee people who only turn up for a buck!. FASEA = FIASCO, FASEA = Fouling UP An already Sound Reputable Profession! FASEA will deprive our Industry and Profession of much experience and sound advice which is so essential to every one. Only those who get advice know the full extent to which they can get advice and the benefits of it. It would be interesting to know whether any of the Members of FASEA Board have ever received comprehensive personal advice and I don't exclude Kent.

Re FASEA, Universities and Ethics

Remember reading recently that around the time of the Gillard Government the standards of entry for Teaching degrees were relaxed (resulting in reduced ATARs). So now there is an oversupply of teachers (relative to demand, certainly in NSW).

Surely the universities didn't just up the enrolments (and total fees collected) at the expense of the poor graduates who struggle to get a F/T job now???

The government and regulators believe that 99% of financial advice can be given via Robo advice and General Advice sales reps. They believe the vested interest parties (multinational investment funds/insurers/industry super).

Whilst lots can be done via GA and Robo advice they forget that people don’t have as much time to research everything and get a some options to choose from because not all of us “work” in a government department.

I acknowledge that the industry fund default options have out performed retail balanced investments. However anyone who is under 40 and sought advice would have been placed ina diversified high growth investment which have all outperformed the industry stuper defaults. Don’t even get me started on the tailored insurances these advised clients have taken out and how much they would have saved on insurance premiums inside a retail fund

The big problem which will be excassabated by FASEA is that un educated, poorly trained sales reps and call centre staff can recommend exactly the same products and strategies as financial advisers. However when a product or strategy is implemented by a non financial adviser the client is left without the protection provided by a SOA, the best interest duty and our increasingly expensive professional liability insurance.

Why do I get the feeling that none of this will make any difference? It seems the agenda is set and that agenda has no place for Financial Planners. If/When Shorten wins the next election there is no doubt in my mind that he does not care one bit for us or our profession and some of his policy around Super will hurt us and our clients again.

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