The FPA has warned that the single disciplinary body could make life harder for advisers already struggling under layers of red tape.
There is a “real risk” that the single disciplinary body will only exacerbate the compliance burden if the government doesn’t handle its implementation carefully, according to the FPA.
“This is a major opportunity for the government to consolidate the fragmented regulatory regime and create a sustainable system that will support our growing profession,” said FPA CEO Dante De Gori.
“The single disciplinary body should have primary responsibility for government oversight of the conduct of financial planners, setting mandatory professional standards, investigating potential breaches of mandatory standards and law, and applying discipline.”
Mr De Gori said that advisers should also only have to register with one government body in order to reduce the regulatory burden and make advice more accessible and affordable.
“The single disciplinary body should set a single minimum entry requirement (education, experience and mentoring), a single mandatory code of ethics and other regulatory standards and be the sole investigator of potential breaches of those standards,” he said.
“This will have the benefit of being a single source of truth for the profession, which will reduce red tape and regulatory cost, improve consumer outcomes, and create a single professional advice community.”
Mr De Gori also slammed the extra layers of regulatory oversight created by FASEA, ASIC, and the Tax Practitioners Board.
“In our experience, these agencies add duplication and cost to the system while rarely communicating with one another and have at times offered conflicting viewpoints and differing interpretations of important professional standards such as the best interest duty (BID) requirement,” he said.
“Every agency tasked with overseeing the financial planning profession must be funded. Ultimately, they are financed by financial planning practices and their clients. Each new layer of regulation increases the cost of advice and adds further complexity.”
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