FASEA ‘overdue’ in answering key Senate questions

17 December 2019

It is now official. The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) is now overdue in answering key questions on notice from Senate Estimates.

A check of the Senate Estimates website has confirmed that two questions taken on notice by FASEA chief executive, Stephen Glenfield from Queensland Liberal Senator, Amanda Stoker remain unanswered and are now officially overdue.

The questions were asked on 23 October and related to submissions received from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) during FASEA’s consultative processes.

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Senator Stoker also asked Glenfield why FASEA had not released any of the submissions it received throughout its consultation process – something he also opted to take on notice.

Both questions are now deemed to be overdue for answers, although FASEA is in good company with other Government departments and agencies also having failed to answer questions from the Estimates hearings at this time.

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Simple. FASEA have not released ANY of the consultation submissions they received in 2018 for ANY of the Professional Standards they "consulted" on. This approach is totally at odds with Treasury & ASIC Consultation where the default position is that submissions go on the public record, unless there is a request to do so. Glenfield should have actually known the answer at the time the question was asked. The question to ask is: "Does FASEA have a 'reasonable basis' for the lack of transparency for the consultation process? "Is it in consumers 'best interests' that these submissions continue to be withheld?" Did FASEA consider the broader long-term interests of all stakeholders and the industry's likely future circumstances when coming up with their final Standards?" Many, many unanswered questions by an unaccountable "authority".

Dear Stephen,
In relation to your above mentioned appearance, at which you and your team (yes, you took a team with you) seem to have fallen short on your professional duties ie, you could not recall the standards nor answer other questions from Senator Stoker - and even with an extension to complete your homework, you still have not delivered.
Help me out here, but I suspect you have broken a few of your own standards (which obviously it is not expect you to comply with as this would potentially be a standard well above your profession - sorry, I'm not sure what profession you are from).
Standards 1 - Act in accordance with the rules - your homework is late. Is this a FAIL?
Standard 2 - Act with integrity - you said you would take the questions from Senator Stoker on notice and yet it appears you have failed to deliver - is this a FAIL?
Standard 3 - Not sure what your conflicts are as nothing has been disclosed (perhaps this is a good way for Financial Planners to behave - just don't disclose). Interested to know the answers to ASIC making submissions - is there a deal behind closed doors here????
I could go on but what is the point?

Indeed. You don't seem to have a point anyway.

My money is on a press release around 4.30 on Friday as everyone packs up for Christmas.

Spot on. FASEA is a show case of unethical, conflicted and deliberately opaque behaviour. We can only hope that when their funding runs out in May, the Government lets this basket case collapse and replace them with a new standards board, consisting of directors who are professionally minded, practicing financial planners, similar to what we see with other professions. It is the only way forward for the betterment of consumers.

Their funding doesnt run out until July 2021.

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