FASEA extension legislation now on notice paper

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) was amongst the first to welcome confirmation that the Government had finally placed the legislation on the Parliamentary notice paper necessary to extend key Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) time-frames.

The Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, Senator Jane Hume, promised the extension in the wake of the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) national conference in October and the legislative measures have been included in an omnibus bill – the Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No. 3) Bill 2019.

The key legislative measures for financial advisers are contained in Schedule 2 of the bill —Deferring education and training standards for existing financial advisers.

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While there is no guarantee that the Government’s legislative measures will pass both houses of the Parliament, they are contained in a bill encompassing other measures such as the taxation of testamentary trusts.

The second reading speech covering the legislation stated the “bill extends transitional deadlines for new requirements for financial advisers. Existing advisers will be required to complete the exam set by FASEA by 1 January 2022, which is an additional year, and meet FASEA's qualification requirements by 1 January 2026, which is an additional two years”.

“This extension will ensure financial advisers have sufficient time to meet the new requirements, balancing the professionalisation of the industry with the need to maintain the ongoing flexibility and affordability of advice. In particular, the extension assists rural and regional advisers and working parents, including parents taking parental leave during the transition period, maintaining a diverse adviser industry.”

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There is an even more urgent change to FASEA required right now. The start date for the Code of Ethics needs to be put on hold. At the moment it is due to come into force on 1 Jan 2020 (just 16 working days from now!!).

The FASEA Code as it stands is completely unworkable (particularly Standard 3) and the guidance provided by FASEA is utterly ambiguous. As it stands the Code is open to abuse by malevolent forces within regulators such as AFCA. Organisations such as Choice and CALC, which have a clear agenda of indiscriminate adviser persecution, are represented on both the FASEA and AFCA Boards. The Code as its stands provides a loaded gun to these hate filled bullies.

Minister Hume must intervene to stop the FASEA Code right now, and replace the political activists from Choice and CALC with real consumer representatives on the FASEA and AFCA Boards.

Yet they still want to enforce the code of ethics, despite very little advisers having completed either the exam or ethics bridging courses.

financial planners and FASEA
like Turkeys looking forward to XMAS.

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