Education, FASEA

Serial flunkers given one last chance

FASEA exam pass

Advisers who have failed to pass the FASEA exam on two occasions will be given one last opportunity to do so next year under a new exemption.

Financial advisers who have made two unsuccessful attempts to pass the mandatory Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam by the end of the year will be given one final opportunity to pass in 2022.

Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy Minister Jane Hume announced today that a one-off exam would be offered to those who had made “two genuine attempts” to pass the exam before the deadline of 31 December 2021.

Hume made the announcement as part of the government’s introduction of a bill that would formally move the powers and functions of FASEA over to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and Treasury, stating the new cut-off date would be 30 September 2022, dependent on the passage of the bill.

In comments made on LinkedIn, Hume said: “Today, acknowledging the effects of a one-in-a-hundred-year pandemic and the disruption it has caused to lives and businesses, the Morrison government has announced very limited changes to FASEA exam requirements.

“For those who have made two genuine attempts to pass the FASEA exam and were unable, there will be a one-time, limited extension into next year.

“There will be at least one further opportunity to pass the exam offered in 2022 for those who qualify for the exemption.”

Hume added that if an adviser had not sat the exam twice before the end of this year, they would receive no further extension and urged advisers to sit one of the remaining exam sessions in 2021 as exemptions for the 2022 exam were limited.

This extension will be the second time the government has moved the final date for compliance, with the original date for all advisers to have passed originally being set at 31 December 2020. In July 2020, this date was extended to 31 December this year, after a bill creating the extension cycled between the two houses of parliament due to late amendments.

Hume said the bill introduced today – the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response – Better Advice) Bill 2021 – would implement a recommendation from the commission to establish a single disciplinary body for financial advisers and that all financial advisers who provide personal financial advice to retail clients be registered.

The bill will allow for the expansion of the role of the Financial Services and Credit Panel within ASIC to operate as the single disciplinary body, create additional penalties and sanctions for financial advisers who have breached their obligations under the Corporations Act, introduce a new registration system for financial advisers, and transfer functions from FASEA to the minister responsible for administering the Corporations Act and to ASIC to streamline the regulation of financial advisers.

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