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Financial Planning, Regulation

Govt seeks Better Advice Bill industry input

Better Advice Bill

The draft Better Advice Bill has been opened to consultation from the financial services sector with regard to future adviser education requirements.

The financial services sector has been invited to make submissions regarding the exposure draft regulations and a draft legislative instrument behind the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response – Better Advice) Bill 2021 (Better Advice Bill).

The Better Advice Bill passed the House of Representatives in early August and will take effect from 1 January 2022.

The legislation officially transfers the responsibilities of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA), after its wind-up, back to the government and gives the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) control over administering the mandatory exam for advisers from the date of its implementation.

Several key elements of the Better Advice Bill will be defined by the exposure draft regulations and legislative instrument, including the circumstances that will lead to ASIC referring matters to the new single disciplinary body so as to ensure financial adviser misconduct is being identified properly and subsequently addressed.

The exposure draft regulations and legislative instrument will also cover subjects such as the administrative sanctions made against financial advisers who will be listed on the Financial Advisers Register, the framework of the adviser exam to be administered by ASIC and the governing rules for practitioners providing tax advice services.

“The Morrison government is committed to strengthening oversight of the financial advice sector while simplifying the regulatory framework governing the provision of financial advice, helping to reduce cost for advisers. These reforms will ensure Australians are able to make informed decisions and have access to affordable and high-quality advice,” Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy Minister Jane Hume said.

Industry stakeholders will have until 15 October to make their submissions and should send them to [email protected].

The exposure draft regulations and draft legislative instrument can be accessed on the Treasury website.

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