The SMSF Association has expressed strong concerns about how the new education and ethical standards will apply to existing financial advisers following the release of a revised standards framework by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).
Commenting on the “FASEA Standards Summary” issued late last Friday, the SMSF industry body said it remains apprehensive about how the framework will be implemented for existing advisers to ensure a smooth transition to the new education standards.
SMSF Association chief executive John Maroney said the body was particularly concerned about how the standards will accommodate limited licence advisers.
“In our opinion it means the upcoming consultation period on the draft legislation will be crucial to ensure that FASEA implements its standards in a way that is fair to existing advisers with regards to their prior learning and education,” Maroney said.
“It’s important FASEA gets this right, for both advisers and their clients. The association therefore urges FASEA to take as much time as required to ensure the detail of the legislative instruments achieves the right outcome instead of having a rushed consultation to meet the proposed 1 January 2019 deadline.”
FASEA released its revised standards framework for financial advisers along with two legislative instruments for work and training, or the professional year, and the provisional relevant provider term.
Maroney said FASEA’s latest publications demonstrated it had listened to industry feedback and submissions by providing more clarity around the code of ethics, reducing the continuing professional development requirements to more realistic levels and clarifying other elements of the education standards for existing advisers.
The Financial Services Council (FSC) said it has begun consulting with its members on the standards blueprint and the two draft legislative instruments.
FSC chief executive Sally Loane said the organisation will lodge submissions on the released draft legislative instruments by 30 November and the remaining legislative instruments as they are announced.