A senior financial services executive has warned the new Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) education requirements introduced this year will impact on practitioners servicing SMSF clients even if they are not actually providing advice.
“The reason I say [FASEA] is something that if you work in the SMSF space you need to be conscious of is because if you are not the adviser, but you are dealing with advisers, then you need to understand that this is something that may have an impact on the way they deal with you,” BT Financial Group head of financial literacy and advocacy Bryan Ashenden told attendees at the Self-managed Independent Superannuation Funds Association 2019 SMSF Forum in Melbourne last week.
“And it will happen at the moment because there is uncertainty and until something has been in place and operating for a while, there will always be an element of uncertainty.”
Ashenden said the situation is going to get worse because the level of uncertainty associated with the FASEA regime increased recently when the government announced an independent disciplinary body for advisers will be established that will double as a code-monitoring body.
“But that body won’t be in place until at least 2021. So until you have some body in place that is monitoring the code, how do you know for certain the way the code is implemented and the way it’s going to be interpreted?” he said.
He pointed out practitioners who are not advisers still currently have to manage a situation that includes “a body that has set a code, you have an adviser who is going to look to try and interpret the code, you have a licensee who oversees the adviser who is going to look to interpret the code, at some point in the future we are going to have a code-monitoring body that will then monitor the compliance for that code, at which point in time you could have four or five different variations on how people think 12 different standards under this code should work”.
“So what I’m saying to you is if you aren’t the adviser, but you are working with someone who is an adviser, then these are some of the things that you’re going to face,” he said.