Better Advice bill passes Senate

The Better Advice bill passed the Senate late on Thursday afternoon, without amendment, addressing many of the industry’s biggest issues.

The minister for financial services, superannuation and the digital economy, Senator Jane Hume, said the legislation was another step forward in implementing the recommendations from the Hayne Royal Commission.

“From 1 January, 2022, the Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP) within the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will become the single disciplinary body for financial advisers and will be able to hear complaints about an adviser’s compliance with the financial services laws and the code of ethics,” Hume said.

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“The panel will be chaired and assisted by ASIC, and made up of members of the industry appointed by the relevant minister. Peer review will therefore be the primary channel through which misconduct is assessed and sanctioned.”

The legislation also introduced new registration requirements for financial advisers to improve accountability and increase transparency for consumers when accessing financial advice.

“Consistent with recommendation 7.1 of the Review of the Tax Practitioners Board, the legislation removes duplication for financial advisers who provide tax (financial) advice by ensuring they are only subject to one disciplinary and registration system,” Hume said.

“The legislation also transfers the functions of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) to the Government to reduce the number of bodies involved in the oversight of financial advisers. ASIC will be responsible for delivering the financial adviser exam.

“The legislation gives the Government the power to extend the cut‑off date for certain existing financial advisers to pass the exam. The Government will use the power to extend the cut‑off date to 30 September, 2022 for advisers who have attempted the exam twice prior to 1 January, 2022.”

Dante De Gori, Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) chief executive, said the FPA welcomed the passing of the bill and looked forward to the stability that would follow.

“After eight years of constant regulatory change, financial planners now have the opportunity to focus on their clients and on the challenge of providing financial advice to more Australians without the distraction of constant regulatory change,” De Gori said.

“These changes will streamline regulation, ultimately reducing costs to the profession and consumers.

“Whilst this legislation now provides a level of clarity as to who regulates financial planners, there are still outstanding issues that need to be addressed through regulations.

“The FPA will continue to work through these regulations and engage with members and stakeholders to ensure constructive input into the implementation of the reforms, as the Treasury consults on the operation of the FSCP panels at ASIC.”

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Can anyone please explain how it is a Single Disciplinary Body ?
Does AFCA still not hear complaints ?
Do the Associations still not have oversight rules?
Do AFSLs still not have oversight obligations?
Plus ASIC and now a new sub division of ASIC the FSCP.
And of course there is yet another registration cost and process.
Singular by name only not by reality

It's not a single disciplinary body Ben. It is a total lie by Hume to call it that. It is also appalling that FPA, AFA and others legitimise her lie by repeating it unquestioningly. Until advisers are freed from the disciplinary auspices of AFCA, ASIC, Austrac, and licensees, (none of which accountants are subject to), it is not a single disciplinary body at all. The only reduction in disciplinary bodies is removal of advisers from TPB control, and that is just a delayed implementation of something the government's own TPB review recommended 3 years ago.

Association rules are a bit different because associations are optional. Advisers can free themselves from those. (A choice more and more advisers are making, as associations fail to stand up for their members on issues like this).

Time for De Gori to move on. To say the cost to consumers will decrease is an insult to those of us battling away with the impossible compliance and red tape which has been forced on us under his watch. Any cost reduction as a result of removing TPB registration (which licensees will still be required to be members of anyway, and may save us what? 1 or 2 dollars per client? ) is far outweighed by the complex fee consent and DDO rules, which probably adds $200 plus per client

Gee George, we need some of your your advice. EFDS alone is adding more than $200/client over the old FDS system which was already expensive. If that's all it's costing you you are doing well. Congrats.

With unbelievable new business rates at the moment we are now in a soft close and being very picky on which clients to take on. As a result more clients don't receive advice, more commonly the ones that need it most unfortunately.

Why is it a 'Single Disciplinary Body' and not a Professional Standards Board. This is therefore yet another policemen in a cabal of keystone cops as Ben suggests above.

A PSB would not only deal with issues that a disciplinary body would hear it would also set the agenda and make policy for positive changes to regulations and guidance and put some logic and common sense into the regs whilst upholding the principles that the regs were initiated for.

Therefore the ignorant and paternalistic top down processes of ASIC will remain unchanged. I see very little has changed but glad to see the back of TPB, what a waste of time and money that was!

Does anyone seriously believe this will reduce the cost of advice? Tinkering around the edges is what this is. June 30 next year will be the big test when the fees are turned off for anyone who missed the reality of annual opt in. We'll be focussing on our existing clients and whatever bubble Hume and the FPA live in, good luck to them.

The shear amount of regulation and red tape produced by the Liberals and their ever willing Public Servants will be a big job for many Public Servants to monitor for many many years to come. Australia has become public servants producing more and more rules that require even greater numbers of public servants to rule over.

Clearly someone is making good money from these rules.

Why aren't Financial Advisers capable of self regulation like the Doctors and the AMA? ..Oh wait....I remember.....The Royal Commission, the FPA, Sam H and even the AFA, all getting drilled about their complaints handling processes..and that famous recommendation by Mr Haynes. What a missed opportunity.

None of those are the reasons to the question you posed (to yourself).
The real reason is,,, drum roll...RG 105 AFS licensing Organisation competence, which sets out the minimal requirements for AFSL Responsible Managers.

I AM going to do something diffirent, i am going to read the bill word for word this weekend, with bourbon and huff and puff till y wife threatens me with divorce. oh...hang on.... ASIC sent ME an email outling everything thats changing.....not

Tacitus: “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.”

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