Better Advice Bill Passed – What you need to know

by | Oct 28, 2021 | AFSL, KitLegal | 0 comments

Prepared by Rosie Jervis

The passing of the Better Advice Bill heralds significant change for Financial Advisers from its expected commencement on 1 January 2022.

There are two key changes you should be aware of:

  1. new Adviser registration system is created, including for Tax (Financial Advisers). Initially Licensees will be required to register Advisers, then there will be a move towards Advisers’ registering themselves.
  2. The new Financial Services and Credit Panel is created within ASIC (the Single Disciplinary Body for Financial Advisers) which will oversee compliance with financial services laws and the Code of Ethics, including the requirement to be registered and education and training standards.  

The Panel will be comprised of one ASIC staff member and at least two industry participants (with relevant expertise and experience) to be appointed by the relevant Minister.

The Panel has the power to:

  • issue infringement notices.
  • take other administrative action; or 
  • recommend to ASIC that it seek a civil penalty where it reasonably believes a breach has occurred.

The Panel has the power to take action against individual Financial Advisers and ‘relevant providers’(including Licensees and ARs) and cannot take action against anyone who is not a Financial Adviser. 

Treasury has recently completed a consultation in relation to Draft Regulations and Draft Legislative Instruments which will support the Better Advice BillThe draft regulations and legislative instruments confirm:

  • the criteria for when ASIC must refer matters to the Single Disciplinary Body;
  • the administrative sanctions made against a Financial Adviser that must be included on the Financial Advisers Register;
  • new fees for the Financial Adviser Exam and registration of Financial Advisers from 1 January 2022;  
  • the registration, education and training requirements for Financial Advisers providing tax (financial) advice services; and
  • that the deadline to complete the Exam for Financial Advisers who have attempted the exam twice before 31 December 2021 has been extended to 30 September 2022.