FASEA provides CPD deadline extension

AFA News 25 June 2020. We welcome today’s announcement from FASEA on their three-month extension to the CPD deadline. This gives advisers more time, given the challenges of the current pandemic environment, to achieve their CPD targets. This is important and we remind members that advisers who miss their CPD targets must be reported to ASIC and will have the breach noted on their Financial Adviser Register record.

For a detailed overview of CPD requirements click here.

Don’t forget we have a series of on-demand webinars, all with valuable CPD hours available here.

ASIC consults on the ASIC Levy for 2019/20

AFA News 25 June 2020. On 12 June 2020, ASIC issued a draft Cost Recovery Implementation Statement for 2019/20, which sets out the proposed ASIC Levy for the 2019/20 financial year, which would normally be invoiced in January 2021.

The estimated cost is $1,500 per licensee plus $1,571 per adviser on the Financial Adviser Register at 30 June 2020. The amount per adviser, reflects a significant increase and compares with $934 for 2017/18 and $1,142 for 2018/19. The total budget at ASIC for the personal advice to retail clients sector has increased from $26m in 2017/18, to $33m in 2018/19 and now $40m in 2019/20. Other fees might also apply to licensees including the $787 per licensee for insurance product distributors.

ASIC will be spending $12.3m on enforcement in the personal advice to retail clients sector and $7.5m on surveillance.

The AFA will have the opportunity to make a submission to ASIC on this by 24 July 2020, however we will certainly express disappointment at the scale of the increase, particularly during the COVID 19 crisis. A key reason for the increase in the per adviser rate ($1,571) is the declining number of financial advisers, and we would have expected a reduction in total costs at ASIC, to reflect this decline in adviser numbers. We are also likely to raise a concern about the comparison with licensees who provide personal advice to wholesale clients only, who will each pay only $155 for the year.

We welcome feedback from members on the 2019/20 ASIC funding levy by email to policy@afa.asn.au.

AFA welcomes FASEA Extension

SYDNEY: 17 June 2020 – The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) warmly welcomes the passing of The Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No. 3) Bill (the Bill) today, to extend the deadlines for the FASEA exam and education standard.

AFA CEO, Philip Kewin said, “We thank all involved in passing the Bill, for recognising the challenges facing financial advisers. It will allow advisers to continue to focus on the immediate needs of their clients, who are facing the economic impact of the COVID 19 crisis.”

The passing of the Bill by both Houses enables changes to the Corporations Act to provide:

  • an extension of 12 months for the exam deadline from 1 January 2021 to 1 January 2022, and
  • an extension of 24 months for the education standard from 1 January 2024 to 1 January 2026

Mr Kewin said, “Financial advisers will now be able to operate with certainty in planning for successfully passing the exam before the end of 2021 and the completion of their education requirements by the end of 2025.”

The Bill was introduced into the Senate for a third time today, after the Centre Alliance amendment was rejected in the House of Representatives for a second time yesterday afternoon. The Bill was passed in the Senate today without amendment, as a result of the Centre Alliance Party and other parties making the decision to enable the Bill to get through without amendment on this third occasion.

“We thank the Minister, Senator Jane Hume, for putting up the Bill to enable the extensions to the deadlines, and the ALP and the minor parties for their support of the Bill,” Mr Kewin said.

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Julie Bennett

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About the AFA

The Association of Financial Advisers Limited (AFA) has been the authentic voice on the value of financial advice for over 70 years. Today, the AFA is a vibrant, innovative association, where the underlying driver of policy is the belief that great advice transforms lives. To this end the AFA is striving to achieve the vision of Great Advice for More Australians. The AFA’s ongoing relevance as a professional association is derived from its success in engaging with the major stakeholders in financial advice including advisers, consumers, licensees, product and service providers, and the regulator and government. Culturally the AFA believes in the value of collaboration to create powerful outcomes and this drives how we achieve influence and work towards our vision.

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ASIC seeking member input on the impact of COVID-19 relief measures

AFA News 12 June 2020. ASIC are assessing the impact of the COVID-19 relief measures, introduced on 14 April 2020 and have asked the AFA to survey our members to obtain feedback.
They are predominantly interested in feedback on the relief measure that provided greater flexibility to provide a Record of Advice when the client’s personal circumstances or
the basis of the advice have changed significantly, or where the previous provider of the Statement of Advice was a different adviser within the same licensee.
In our view this was the most important COVID 19 relief measure that they provided.

The AFA welcomed the relief measures announced by ASIC, however, it is critical that we assess what impact this measure has had at the coal face, and also to consider
how this measure could be improved or other changes could be made to make it easier and more cost effective to provide financial advice during the COVID-19 crisis.

We encourage you to complete the survey. Please click here to access the survey.

AFA Board approved changes to the AFA By-Laws

AFA News 12 June 2020. On 29 May 2020, the AFA Board approved changes to the AFA By-Laws with respect to the handling of disciplinary matters. The key changes are as follows:

  • Providing greater flexibility with respect to who can be appointed as an Investigating Officer to consider a complaint or other investigative matter.
  • Giving members the opportunity to make a submission to the Board where they are subject to an investigation under clause 53 of the By-Laws, and the Investigating Officer has recommended to the Board that the member be issued with a reprimand.

In accordance with the AFA Constitution, the marked-up By-Law changes are published for 60 days.