Proposed Code Monitoring Authority will be ready to roll

The Code Monitoring Authority established by a consortium of professional associations including the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) will be ready to start registering advisers as early as the start of October if it gets the green light from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Not only has the consortium begun the recruitment process to find the senior executives necessary to run the Authority, FPA chief executive, Dante De Gori has confirmed that much of the infrastructure including development is nearly completed.

The consortium, made up of the FPA, the AFA, the Boutique Financial Planners (BFP), the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA), the Self-Managed Super Fund Association (SMSF Association), and Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers Association (SAFAA) lodged its formal application to deliver the Code Monitoring Authority last month.

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De Gori said that the timeframes around having the Authority up and running and registering financial advisers by 15 November meant that the organisations had committed to investing in the necessary infrastructure before ASIC had made its determination.

The timeframe meant that the professional bodies had also committed to the move before the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, had released the Government’s so-called Royal Commission Implementation Roadmap.

Frydenberg announced that not only would the Government be proceeding with the establishment of Code Monitoring Authorities covering financial advisers but would also be creating a new central disciplinary body.

Money Management understands that the member associations of the consortium are seeking clarity from the Government on how it expects Code Monitoring Authorities will work alongside or under the new central disciplinary body.

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This whole FASEA Code process needs to be immediately stopped by Minister Hume. Not only is the Code itself unworkable in its present form (particularly Standard 3), there is likely to be overlapping regulations and regulators from the newly announced financial planning disciplinary body.

Badly designed, duplicated regulation is already making it too hard for most consumers to access affordable advice. The FASEA Code and its associated Monitoring Body is one layer of bad and duplicated regulation that can surely be scrapped in its current format, and integrated more sensibly into the new disciplinary body.

My prediction is this won't get legs because, you'll recall the Sam H and FPA fiasco where it was the Royal Commissioner indicated that the FPA could not be trusted to be a code monitoring body. A missed opportunity of self regulation.

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