FASEA extension passes

The bill to extend deadlines for the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority exam and education requirements has passed the House of Representatives.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No.3) Bill amends the Corporations Act so that financial advisers will have more time to pass the FASEA exam and meet FASEA's education requirements.

Now that the bill has passed in the House of Representatives, it has to be passed in the Senate, but there is no indication that there will be opposition to the bill.

If it passes, advisers will be given an additional year to complete the FASEA-approved exam, meaning they'll have until 1 January 2022 instead of 1 January 2021.

Advisers that have to meet FASEA's qualification requirements will have until 1 January 2026 to complete an approved course or degree, which is an additional two years.

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) and Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) lobbied for these extensions.

FPA chief executive Dante De Gori responded to news of the bill passing on LinkedIn, saying: "The FPA policy team was in Canberra today - and I am pleased to confirm the bill passed the House and this included support from Labor - meaning the bill should hopefully pass through the Senate without any amendments."

There was some confusion previously about whether Labor would support the extensions.

The associations had called for members to advocate for the extensions with their local members of parliament.

"Thanks again to members and all financial planners who pushed for this with their local MP and to the AFA for their joint advocacy," De Gori said.

At the second reading of the bill, Labor MP Stephen Jones referred to FASEA as having three chief executives in its first 18 months and said that consultation with the industry was almost entirely absent.

"Standards were issued mere days before they were due to come into effect, and the FASEA exam, as the minister pointed out in his second reading speech, wasn't in a location which was going to make it even possible for a large swathe of financial advisers to be able to attend and sit that exam, let alone pass it. This is monumental incompetence, incompetence on an Olympic scale," Jones said.

"So, yes, we will support the legislation. But in doing so, we have to point out incompetence and mistake, incompetence and mistake, minister after minister after minister, which has visited this great uncertainty upon an industry which is already going through considerable upheaval."

Read more: FASEAAFAStephen JonesDante De Gori
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