Catherine Walter AM has been appointed as Chair of the new Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) for a four-year period, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer announced.
“The FASEA will be responsible for governing the conduct of professionals in the financial advice sector, by setting mandatory educational and training requirements, developing and setting an industry exam, and creating a Code of Ethics that all advisers will be required to adhere to,” said the announcement.
“The new requirements will commence on 1 January 2019. From this date, new advisers will be required to hold a relevant degree before they are eligible to commence a supervision year and to sit the exam. Existing advisers will have two years, until 1 January 2021, to pass the exam and five years, until 1 January 2024, to reach a standard equivalent to a degree. The Code of Ethics will commence on 1 January 2020, with all advisers being required to adhere to the code from that day forward.”
Eight other directors were appointed to the FASEA board, for either two or three years:
- Ms Deborah Kent
- Ms Carolyn Bond AO
- Dr Mark Brimble
- Mr Matthew Rowe
- Ms Catriona Lowe
- Dr Simon Longstaff AO
- Mr Steve Somogyi
- Mr Michael O’Neill
The SMSF Association welcomed the appointments.
“The Minister’s appointments are recognition of the importance the Government is placing on improving the training and educational standards of advisors, an issue the Association has long advocated,” said SMSF Association CEO Andrea Slattery.
“We look forward to working with the Authority to establish higher standards for advisors that are an important step to improving the professionalism of financial advice.”
“In particular, we will be urging the Authority to recognise the SMSF sector as a specialty and a profession to safeguard the financial interests of the more than 1.1 million trustees and the $653 billion in FUM critical to Australia’s retirement system.”
“Research shows the trustees are increasingly looking to get specialist advice to assist in the management of their SMSF, so it’s critical this advice is of the highest standard.”