Regulators quash remuneration rumours

The Code of Ethics does not seek to ban particular forms of remuneration nor does it say that any forms of remuneration are specifically a conflict, FASEA chief executive Stephen Glenfield told the FPA Congress.

Appearing as part of a regulatory update alongside ASIC commissioner Danielle Press, Glenfield said advisers should be using this time to assess their remuneration structures and need to consider it in the context of the whole code.

Also touching on remuneration, Press said recent interactions between ASIC and advice industry stakeholders has led her to believe some see the January 2021 cut-off date for grandfathered commissions as the commencement of a transition period rather than a definitive deadline.

"This is your transition period, so get prepared," Press said.

She also said ASIC does not expect licensees to rejig their remuneration structures by 1 January 2020 to align with the Code of Ethics while uncertainty still surrounds Standards 3 and 7 of the code.

"We expect planners to abide by the code from 1 January... We realise Standards 3 and 7 still need clarity. We do not expect licensees to changes their remuneration models ahead of the guidance being clear," Press said.

Speaking on other initiatives underway at ASIC, she outlined seven strategic priorities it is working on, including confirming: "We are working hard to make sure all the investigations that the Royal Commission initiated are up and running by the end of the year."

"As an industry we need to move on, as a regulator we need to move on. But we can't move on until we address what came up in the Royal Commission."

She also said the regulator's work on advice in superannuation is almost complete, as is its work around general advice.

Finally, discussing ASIC's recent announcement around the enforcement of the Code in the absence of code monitoring bodies, Glenfield said he agrees with the approach.

"FASEA considers the approach outlined by ASIC while a single disciplinary body is brought into effect to be appropriate," Glenfield said.

"The ASIC approach will allow you time to make changes in a considered matter."

Read more: ASICCode of EthicsStephen GlenfieldFPA CongressRoyal CommissionDanielle Press
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