ASIC and FASEA at Senate Estimates

AFA News 5 November 2020. Both ASIC and FASEA fronted a Senate Estimates hearing on Tuesday 27 October 2020, where the questioning included issues important to the financial advice profession.

The Senate Estimates process is one that is designed to allow the Senators to hold the Federal Government and Government agencies accountable.  In October 2019, at Senate Estimates, Queensland LNP Senator Amanda Stoker asked a number of challenging questions of FASEA.  Please click here to see a video of the October 2019 hearing.

The Economics session of Senate Estimates was disrupted this year, as a result of the emerging scandal with expense claims at ASIC, and this delayed the remainder of the program and meant that some of the agencies did not even appear at all. FASEA were the last Agency to appear on the day, and did not commence until after 10.50pm.  Senator Stoker was Acting Chair of the evening session and she had the vast majority of the limited time that was available to ask questions of FASEA CEO Stephen Glenfield. In that time, she challenged FASEA on the lack of support for advisers who fail the FASEA exam, the continuing lack of recognition of experience (through CPD) and the failure of FASEA to publish submissions on the Code of Ethics during their consultation on the final draft of the Code in late 2018 (which has generated some media coverage). Please click here to see a copy of the transcript of the FASEA section or click here to see the video.  We encourage members to watch this short video, which highlights some of the key issues that financial advisers are facing and how this is being recognised by our politicians.

Earlier in the day, WA Liberal Senator Slade Brockman, asked some questions of ASIC, including seeking a better understanding of the objectives of the ASIC Unmet Advice Needs project, the significant increase in the ASIC Funding Levy and the provision of regulatory relief on FDSs and Opt-In Notices during the lockdown in Victoria.

The discussion on what ASIC is doing to understand the issues that are driving up the cost of providing financial advice and reducing access to financial advice for everyday Australians, provides important context and presents a genuine opportunity to demand change. Please click here to see the video or click here for a copy of the transcript of the questions raised by Senator Brockman.

For any feedback on the Senate Estimates hearings, please email policy@afa.asn.au.

Issued 05.11.2020. AFA Policy & Education Update