There is mounting concern in the financial advice industry that the level of legislative activity generated by the Government’s response to COVID-19 will mean that the Senate will not have time to debate and pass the legislation extending the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam regime time-frame.
The legislation has already passed the House of Representatives but only has a week to pass the Senate before the Parliament rises for three weeks before resuming for the Budget session in mid-May.
Association of Financial Advisers general manager, policy and professionalism, Phil Anderson said there was genuine concern that the Government’s focus on issues surrounding COVID-19 and the economic stimulus would crowd out debate around the FASEA exam timetable.
He said this would create significant ongoing uncertainty in circumstances where advisers were already worried about the implications of COVID-19 for sitting the exam itself.
Anderson’s comments came as the FASEA announced that the 2-7 April exam would continue as planned in all locations with the caveat that advisers would be informed of any change in status.
He said that the reality confronting advisers was that if the legislation did not pass the Senate next week it was likely that it would not do so until after the Budget, most likely during the June sittings.
The same focus on the economic stimulus package is also likely to delay any progress on the legislation emanating out of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
Anderson said he hoped that any delay to the Royal Commission-related legislation would allow time for a more considered approach to some of the key issues.