FASEA will be disbanded and have its role divided up between Treasury and ASIC’s Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP) – which will become the industry’s long-awaited single disciplinary body – in a raft of changes to the advice industry announced today by the Morrison government.

Separately, fee disclosure statements and annual ongoing fee renewals will be merged into a single document as part of several amendments presented to parliament today in the second Bill implementing recommendations from the Hayne Royal Commission.

In a stunning set of developments, the office of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and the assistant minister for financial services, superannuation and technology, Jane Hume, presented the financial sector reform Bill to parliament in the morning before working to get the FASEA announcement out in the late afternoon.

The measures hit two birds with one stone, implementing key planks of the Hayne Royal Commission recommendations while easing the regulatory burden on the industry by reducing compliance.

In a note to Professional Planner, Hume said the reforms announced today “will ensure Australians can continue to access good quality affordable advice at all stages of their life”.

SDB to replace FASEA

FASEA’s demise was anticipated as the authority’s role was always going to be minimised once all advisers either met the educate mandate by 2026 or left the industry.

The FSCP, which currently administers banning orders within ASIC, will have its role expanded dramatically to incorporate advice disciplinary functions as well as take over FASEA’s administration of the adviser exam.

“Expanding the role of the FSCP will leverage its extensive expertise and existing governance structures, avoiding the need to establish a new body to perform this role,” Frydenberg and Hume said in a joint release.

“Consolidating this new function within ASIC will also avoid regulatory overlap and minimise the possibility of multiple investigations by multiple agencies into the same conduct related to the provision of financial advice.”

Treasury will take up FASEA’s standard-setting functions, which will give it the ability to set and amend standards directly by legislative function.

Hume thanked FASEA for the “significant” work it had done in setting up the Code of Ethics, administering the adviser exam and overseeing the education qualifications process.

“With FASEA’s foundation work now largely complete, the time is right to for the process to be streamlined,” she told Professional Planner.

Cornerstone compliance consolidation