Association of Financial Advisers' "simple request"

Association of Financial Advisers' "simple request" | Insurance Business

Association of Financial Advisers

“We want our members to be focussed on their clients, not only at this critical time, but all the time. The delay in passing this legislation is, however, causing anxiety and having an increasing impact on the mental health of financial advisers.”

Those were the words of Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) chief executive Philip Kewin when the trade body called on the Australian Labor Party (ALP) to support the passing of the Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No. 3) Bill in the Senate this week.

The legislation will provide a one-year extension for financial advisers who are required to complete the FASEA (Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority) exam by the end of 2020.

Kewin stated: “The AFA reminds the Senate that at this stage, fewer than 30% of current advisers have passed the exam, leaving 70% who would be forced to cease providing financial advice if they cannot pass the exam by the end of this year.

“This leaves the hundreds of thousands of clients of these financial advisers exposed, the same clients who are now increasingly reliant upon their adviser for support and guidance.”

The CEO pointed to how the coronavirus crisis has affected financial advisers seeking certainty on the extension. With Parliament closed, the necessary debate in the Senate has been delayed while face-to-face exams are cancelled because of the pandemic.

According to Kewin, the financial advice community had previously received confirmation that there was bipartisan support for the exam extension legislation but that this backing has now “been withdrawn and the ALP wants to include an unrelated amendment that will most likely prevent it being addressed in the Senate this week.”

Meanwhile the AFA official described the legislation’s passing as “a simple request” from a sector that is essential particularly during this challenging time.

Kewin declared: “We request that the Senate take action to pass this Bill this week and avoid jeopardising the future and wellbeing of the financial advice profession, and their clients.”