SYDNEY: 12 May 2020 – The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) calls on the Australian Labor Party (ALP) to support the passing of the Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No. 3) Bill in the Senate this week, that will provide a one-year extension for financial advisers who are required to complete the FASEA exam by the end of this year.
AFA CEO, Philip Kewin said the Government announced this policy back in August 2019, and the financial adviser community has been operating on this assumption and reassurances since that time.
“With the commencement of the coronavirus crisis, financial advisers seeking certainty on this extension have been impacted by the closure of Parliament, delaying the necessary debate in the Senate and also the cancellation of face-to-face exams.
“The AFA reminds the Senate that at this stage, fewer than 30% of current advisers have passed the exam, leaving 70% who would be forced to cease providing financial advice if they cannot pass the exam by the end of this year. This leaves the hundreds of thousands of clients of these financial advisers exposed, the same clients who are now increasingly reliant upon their adviser for support and guidance.”
Mr Kewin said that for the past two and a half months, financial advisers have been focussed on supporting and advising their clients as they deal with the impact of the coronavirus, including people who have lost their jobs and had their businesses closed.
“We want our members to be focussed on their clients, not only at this critical time, but all the time. The delay in passing this legislation is, however, causing anxiety and having an increasing impact on the mental health of financial advisers.”
Mr Kewin said the financial advice community had previously received confirmation that there was bipartisan support for the exam extension legislation, which it understood was based upon an acknowledgement of the delay in the availability of the exam, but more recently the impact of the coronavirus and the cancellation of face-to-face exams.
“We have now been advised that this bipartisan support has been withdrawn and the ALP wants to include an unrelated amendment that will most likely prevent it being addressed in the Senate this week.”
Mr Kewin said the passing of the exam extension legislation is a simple request from a profession that is essential during this crisis, and where the consequences are both well-known and completely avoidable.
“We request that the Senate take action to pass this Bill this week and avoid jeopardising the future and wellbeing of the financial advice profession, and their clients.”
120520 AFA calls on ALP to support FASEA extension
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About the AFA
The Association of Financial Advisers Ltd (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 our success in engaging with the major stakeholders in financial advice including advisers, consumers, licensees, product and service providers, and the regulator and government. Culturally we believe in the value of collaboration to create powerful outcomes and this drives how we achieve influence and work towards our vision.