The corporate regulator has confirmed it funded the submission put together by Griffith University to FASEA’s code of ethics consultation, which was one of just two submissions calling for the wording of Standard 3 to be changed from its original form.
Facing questioning from Liberal MP Jason Falinski in a hearing of the parliamentary joint committee into corporations and financial services on Wednesday afternoon, ASIC commissioner Danielle Press said the regulator's Consumer Advisory Panel (CAP) – which receives its funding from ASIC – had engaged Griffith University to put the submission together, and had funded the development of the submission.
However, Ms Press said ASIC was not directly involved in the suggestions that were put forward in the submission, including that Standard 3 of the FASEA code of ethics be changed to state that advisers must not act for a client if they had any form of conflict of interest.
"ASIC didn’t fund the Griffith University submission – the CAP panel, which gets funding from ASIC, had funded that submission," Ms Press said.
"ASIC was not involved in the preparation or review of submission prior to it going to FASEA.
"ASIC does fund the CAP panel, and out of that funding of that particular year it did provide or engage with Griffith to provide a submission to FASEA."
Ms Press said ASIC typically funded submissions to government bodies or inquiries on behalf of the panel, at a cost of around $10,000-$15,000 per submission.
She added that the regulator typically provided "administrative support" to the CAP rather than direct funding, and that in the case of the FASEA submission, ASIC felt it was "to ensure there was a consumer voice being put forward, which we think in most policy debates is important".
The submission from Griffith University academics was one of just two submissions out of approximately 600 received by FASEA in its code of ethics consultation that called for the wording of Standard 3 to be changed, according to evidence from a Senate economics committee hearing cited by Mr Falinski.
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