Legislation that will allow financial advisers to continue to practice without holding a degree has passed through parliament a day after measures to introduce accountability standards for financial services executives were also agreed upon.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (2023 Measures No 3) Bill 2023 passed through the Senate earlier today after a third reading, having been introduced into the House of Representatives on 14 June.
No amendments were made to the legislation, which contained a number of provisions and stated it will “remove tertiary education requirements for financial advisers with 10 or more years’ experience and a clean disciplinary record; [and] address certain limitations in the education requirements for new entrants into the financial advice profession and financial advisers who are registered tax agents”.
The bill was backed by the financial advice sector, which also requested a sunset clause be added that was not included in the final legislation.
Yesterday, the parliament also passed the Financial Accountability Regime (FAR) Bill 2023, which puts in place new accountability obligations on banks, insurers and superannuation funds and implements the last major recommendation to government made by the financial services royal commission.
Assistant Treasurer and Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones said: “Financial services executives make decisions that impact upon the lives of all Australians. They must be held to high standards of accountability and integrity.
“The FAR ensures that these institutions clearly identify individuals who will be held accountable for the actions of the organisation.
“An executive who breaches these obligations can be penalised with a loss of income, disqualification from working in the sector and individual civil penalties for assisting in the organisation’s contravention of its obligations.”
The FAR will replace the Banking Executive Accountability Regime and apply to the banking sector six months after royal assent and to the insurance and superannuation sectors 18 months after royal assent.
Jones noted the FAR Bill follows the introduction of a compensation scheme of last resort, which was also a recommendation of the royal commission.