In an address to the Financial Services Council Summit, Senator Jane Hume, Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, said she was aware of industry concerns around the introduction of new education requirements by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).
“We’ve introduced transitional provisions because we want to ensure that existing financial advisers have sufficient time to meet the new requirements,” Senator Hume said.
“But in saying that, I’m well aware that financial advisers and industry representatives have concerns about their capacity to meet these requirements, even within the current transitional arrangements.
“We understand that change is never easy, and many advisers who have always done the right thing by their clients are now caught up in the maelstrom of reforms, regulations and requirements that have been forced upon an industry whose reputation has been tarnished by the unprofessional behaviour of others.”
Under the new framework, accountants looking to provide financial advice will need to meet FASEA-approved educational qualifications by 1 January 2024, complete the FASEA exam before 1 January 2021, and comply with a new code of ethics from 1 January 2020.
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and CPA Australia have had their professional designation coursework recognised as prior learning, with IPA understood to still be waiting on their coursework to be approved.
Senator Hume said the government would continue to be open to feedback, leaving the door ajar for possible change.
“We know it is important to strike the right balance between the need to improve the professional standards of advisers operating in the industry, but also recognising that many of these advisers need to balance work, study and family commitments,” Senator Hume said.
“The government is listening to your concerns and is carefully considering how to proceed.”
Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.