The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) welcomes the Morrison Government’s announcement that the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) will be wound down and its role to be divided between Treasury and ASIC’s Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP) to become a single disciplinary body for the profession.
FPA CEO Dante De Gori CFP® said: “We welcome the Government’s commitment to simplifying regulation and the first steps towards giving Australians a better chance to access and pay for financial advice they need, when they want it.
“The FPA has been calling for a simplification of standards setting and the establishment of a single disciplinary body to reduce red tape and untangle an unreasonably complex regulatory framework that is stifling the financial planning profession and driving up the cost of advice.
“This announcement is a step in the right direction, particularly for financial planners who, in some instances, are struggling to remain commercially viable as the cost of advice has skyrocketed in recent years as regulatory and compliance costs continued to rise,” said Mr De Gori.
The Morrison Government announced a range of measures intended to streamline the regulation of financial advice and improve consumer access to affordable financial advice yesterday.
“The FPA has continuously advocated for the reduction of ‘regulatory bodies’ that are adding unnecessary duplication, complexity and costs and for the establishment of a single disciplinary body. This body should have primary responsibility for government oversight of the conduct of financial planners, setting mandatory professional standards, investigating potential breaches of mandatory standards and law, and applying discipline,” Mr De Gori said.
The Government has yet to provide a timeline for this change, but it will require legislation and is likely to occur by the end of the 2020/21 financial year when FASEA’s funding is due to run out.
It is important to note that there is no change to the actual standards and obligations on financial planners and the law still requires completion of the exam, education standards and adherence to the Code of ethics. What is changing the standard setting and administration functions will change.
“We look forward to continuing our conversations with the Government on how we can continue to improve access to affordable and professional financial advice for Australians,” concludes FPA CEO Dante De Gori CFP®.