AFA News 21 October 2021. On Friday 15 October 2021, the AFA made a submission to Treasury in response to the draft regulations to accompany the Better Advice Bill, which is the important piece of legislation that will implement the Single Disciplinary Body, result in the closure of FASEA, remove financial advisers from the regulatory oversight of the TPB and facilitate the extension of the FASEA exam deadline to 30 September 2022, but only for those advisers who have attempted the exam at least twice by the end of 2021.
This package of regulations addressed the following:
- Those disciplinary matters that ASIC must refer to a Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP).
- The sanctions that must be recorded on the Financial Adviser Register.
- The training requirements for those advisers providing tax (financial) advice services.
- The extension of the deadline for the exam to 30 September 2022, for those who have attempted the exam at least twice by 31 December 2021.
The AFA continues to have some major concerns with respect to the Better Advice Bill and particularly the number of matters that are likely to be considered by ASIC or an FSCP, the consequential cost of running the Single Disciplinary Body and the complex way that financial advisers are being removed from the TPB regime.
Overall, we are pleased with what has been set out in these regulations in that:
- The matters which ASIC must refer to an FSCP are limited to more major matters, where consumer detriment is a key factor, although there are some issues with definitions.
- Confirmation that written warnings and reprimands will not be recorded on the FAR. Whilst suspensions and prohibitions will be recorded on the FAR, other more moderate sanctions such as additional training will be subject to only being recorded from the second occurrence.
- Existing financial advisers who are registered with the TPB will not be required to do further study to meet the tax (financial) advice education requirements, however, they will need to do at least 5 hours of CPD on technical tax-related content each year. This does not increase the total CPD target of 40 hours, however, it will reduce the amount of unallocated or general CPD hours.
- Financial advisers who apply to register with the TPB before 31 December 2021, will not be required to do further study, however, they will seemingly be restricted from providing tax (financial) advice services until the registration is confirmed. Those advisers who are not registered with the TPB will have four years to do two courses on Commercial Law and Australian Taxation Law. We have raised a number of issues with how this all works.
- The exam extension measure will be able to be delivered, as promised by the Government in June.
Please click here for a copy of the AFA submission to Treasury.
For any questions on the Better Advice Bill or the exam extension, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issued 21.10.2021. AFA Policy & Education Update