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Education Standards Update: FASEA

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has today released further guidance on new education requirements.

Advisers with a Bachelor Degree in a related field (Accounting, Financial Planning, Financial Advice, Business, Commerce, Law or Economics) will need to complete a bridging course of three study units to meet the new education standards. (FASEA have said this will equate to less than one year of study if taken part-time).

Advisers with a Bachelor Degree and a Postgraduate Qualification in a related field will only need to complete a one-unit bridging course covering the FASEA Code of Ethics.

All Advisers with either of these types of qualifications will be eligible for the relevant bridging course option. (Previously there was some talk of needing to have completed the degree within the last 10 years).

FASEA is working with higher education providers to develop the bridging course offerings with the aim to have several options available for the start of 2019. FASEA are also working to ensure ‘new’ Bachelor Degrees will include the new units of study.

This will allow five years for Advisers to complete any necessary courses before the 2024 deadline.

Advisers with a Diploma in Financial Planning will be required to complete an eight-subject Graduate Diploma before 1 January 2024.

Advisers with an Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning will be required to complete an eight-subject Graduate Diploma before 1 January 2024.

By way of reminder:
Existing Advisers (registered with ASIC before 1 January 2019) will need to:
1. Pass the exam before 1 January 2021.
2. Have a relevant bachelor or higher degree, or equivalent qualification before 1 January 2024.
3. Continue to comply with CPD requirements as per current requirements
4. Comply with the code of ethics and be covered by a compliance scheme before 1 January 2020.

New Advisers (registered with ASIC after 1 January 2019) will need to immediately:
1. Pass the exam.
2. Have a relevant bachelor or higher degree, or equivalent qualification.
3. Comply with CPD requirements
4. Complete a professional year of supervised work and training.
5. Comply with the code of ethics and be covered by a compliance scheme before 1 January 2020.

It is our understanding that General Advice providers do not fall under the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority and will be required to continue to comply with the ASIC Regulatory Guide 146. ASIC have announced they will be updating RG146, with no timeframe given as yet, however, as RG146 ceases to apply to Financial Advisers authorised to give Personal Advice from 1 January 2019, we can assume the update will come before that date.

FASEA Announcement

*Interview published on Linkedin following FS Power50 “Influential Advisers” recognition


*as originally posted on ING Australia – Adviser (linkedin showcase page) Dec 2017


Financial Standard has launched its FS Power50 guide, recognising the 50 most influential financial advisers in Australia as voted by the industry.

James Sutherland Founder & CEO of myonlineadvisers was recently included in the Top 50 “Influential” Advisers
Financial Standard defined “influential” as individuals who have been or continue to be instrumental in shaping the future of the financial advice industry.
We sat down with James and asked him how he feels about this recognition and what his thoughts are on thriving now and into the future of financial services.
Congratulations on this and well deserved recognition,  tell us what does this mean to you and your dealer group myonlineadvisers?
Thank you, we have persisted with hard work and tenacity to gain depth in market insights, building new technology that will make a difference.
I believe this recognition confirms that Myonlineadvisers, our technology and processes have relevance in today’s market.
What drives you to be a leader in shaping the future or financial advice?
I have always had a personal fascination with technology and an early realisation that the financial services industry has no choice other than to adapt and adopt technology.
We are driven by the knowledge to remain relevant and viable we have to build, change and continue to develop new technology.
Technology will deliver efficiencies to advice businesses in the future allowing for more time to be spent with the “human side” of our business dealing with our clients goals and objectives.
How would you describe the “financial advice consumer” today?
Today’s financial advice consumer has more access to information than ever before.
They come to us with a level of financial education that they have garnered from many sources including the internet, media family and friends.
However they still want to be supported in their decisions, validated and guided through the complexity of financial advice, this is the real value that we offer to our clients.
How would you explain your X Factor for thriving in this fast paced, evolving financial services industry?
I believe our X Factor has always been the ability to remain open minded, agile and able to implement change when needed.
We have backed ourselves time and time again making informed choices through research, seeking market insights, networking and remaining resilient.
I personally don’t fear change or back away from challenges, seeking solutions and remaining a step ahead has been the key to our success.

ASIC surveillance program catches adviser out for inadequate replacement product advice

Screen Shot 2018 01 23 at 12 01 13 pm

This recent recent enforceable undertaking (EU), for an adviser in QLD, relating to life insurance replacement advice serves as a timely reminder to all of us advisers.

ASIC found the adviser…

  1. failed to undertake adequate inquiries into the relevant personal circumstances of some clients to whom he made recommendations to switch life insurance policies
  2. failed to provide adequate replacement product advice in the Statement of Advice, preventing the client from making an informed decision to switch life insurance and superannuation products advised purchasing life insurance that was too expensive for the client
  3. failed to consider the longer term impact on retirement savings of placing life insurances within superannuation, and
  4. failed to provide accurate information about the clients’ circumstances within the Statement of Advice.

The EU is a result of ASIC’s Life Insurance Lapse Data Project (LILD Project) which was established in August 2016. Under this project, ASIC receives reports from life insurers that list the names of advisers who meet specific thresholds relating to lapsed policies.

It’s up to all of us to “know your client” and act in the “best interest” in all advice we give.

Policy & Professionalism Update

AFA Policy & Professionalism Update

Phil Anderson recently rejoined the AFA as General Manager Policy and Professionalism. He is now starting to send out updates on what is happening in our industry and what we as AFSL’s and AR’s need to do.

TPB Renewals – What You Need to Do
In August, the Tax Practitioners Board announced that 27% of the registered tax (financial) advisers who were due to renew their registration in July had failed to do so.  If this was unintentional then the consequences are significant, as impacted advisers will no longer be able to provide tax (financial) advice services.  There is a much bigger group of around 13,000 advisers due to renew in January 2018, and it is important to be prepared early.

We have received feedback from members that some of the elements of the renewal process were unexpectedly time consuming or difficult.  In particular, the experience requirement can be challenging if you have moved licensee a number of times.  For advisers renewing under the Membership of a Professional Association option, which enables an exemption from completing the Australian taxation law and commercial law subjects, you need to have 6 years relevant experience out of the last 8 years. Thus you need to prove experience over a longer period of time and have one or more supervisors verify this experience.

The TPB have provided a number of support materials to assist advisers in this renewal process, including the following:

We have also received a lot of questions about why you need to be registered as an individual and also need to have your Corporate Authorised Representative registered.  The answer to this is that where the advice is provided in the name of the CAR or the CAR receives the income, then they will fall under the legislation.  Importantly, the registration fee covers you for a three year period.

If you are part of the January 2018 group then we strongly advise that you prepare early for renewal, so that you can go to the Christmas break confident that you have secured your right to continue to operate.  Renewing early does not change the end date of your new registration period, which is for at least three years.

To check your renewal date, find yourself on the TPB register by clicking here.
FASEA Announcement
On 24 October 2017 the Financial Advisers Standards and Ethics Authority released their first announcement that addressed the degrees that meet the Professional Standards education requirements for new financial advisers.  This standard is based upon the Financial Planning Education Council list and includes both undergraduate and post-graduate degrees.  Whilst this announcement is targeted towards new advisers, it does include options for existing advisers to meet the announced new standard, such as the Master of Financial Planning from Kaplan.  FChFP graduates will be able to gain recognition of their FChFP units within the Masters of Financial Planning.

FASEA CEO, Dr Deen Sanders noted the importance of providing clarity on education requirements for existing advisers.  The AFA will be working closely with FASEA as this important work progresses.

To see the FASEA announcement, please click on this link.
Australian Financial Complaints Authority
The legislation for the establishment of the Government’s proposed new single stop External Dispute Resolution (EDR) scheme to replace FOS, CIO and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal has been introduced into parliament.  The Government’s transition team have now delivered a consultation paper where they are seeking feedback on a range of key measures.  One point that the AFA has had concerns about is the proposal to increase the compensation cap from $309k to $0.5M, which will likely have a significant impact upon the cost of PI Insurance. 


Change Adviser Titles to Tackle Public Confusion

Change Adviser Titles to Tackle Public Confusion

The financial advice sector should move away from describing advice professionals as ‘financial planners’ or ‘financial advisers’ and adopt more descriptive definitions in order to demystify financial advice. While the two current terms are well understood by those who receive advice, those who do not receive advice consider advisers and planners differently and do not see the need to deal with them.

Click here to read the rest of the discussion with Fraser Jack on riskinfo….


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