FASEA swings open doors for advisers

Alex Burke,  Senior Writer,  No More Practice Education

Perhaps in recognition of the confusion surrounding the consequences of putting off doing the adviser exam til next year, FASEA is proposing to temporarily scrap the three-month registration requirement for exam sittings. 

If the amendment is made, any adviser who's been unsuccessful in a previous exam attempt will be able to participate in the November round - previously, they would be prohibited from sitting the exam again if they'd done so within the past three months. FASEA CEO Stephen Glenfield said the amendment "aims to provide existing advisers with an additional opportunity to meet the transition requirements of the Corporations Act."

He added: "FASEA welcomes stakeholder feedback on this proposed amendment." If you wish, you can submit feedback on the amendment at this email address. 

As we discussed recently, a significant (albeit not necessarily broadly representative) proportion of our community who hadn't passed the exam yet either hadn't registered, were unsure whether they would or didn't intend to participate in the 2021 exams. In some cases this was because they planned to retire before the FASEA cutoff, but others just hadn't gotten around to registering yet. 

It's worth noting, of course, that these responses were provided before Senator Jane Hume announced advisers could be granted an extension on their FASEA exam deadline into next year if they'd made "two genuine attempts" to pass previously.

This must have come as some relief to parts of the industry, even if we don’t really have a clear picture of how adviser education standards will be run once FASEA closes its doors later this year. 

It's that uncertainty, by the way, that the Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers Association said was good reason for the new single disciplinary body not to consider any action arising from possible breaches of standards 3 or 6 of the FASEA Code of Ethics until Treasury has reviewed the Code.

In a submission, the SAFAA said it had "consistently voiced its serious concerns that elements of the Code are unworkable and in conflict with the law." Standard 3's blanket prohibition on any conflicts of interest, for example, is "impossible ... given that the test in Standard 3 has no element of materiality or proportionality."

The SAFAA's submission added that Standard 6 introduced fundamental conflicts with the provision of scaled advice. These conflicts were particularly apparent for stockbrokers, a profession that the submission said "involves the provision of scaled advice hundreds of times a day."


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