FASEA CEO Stephen Glenfield has said the authority will be handing Treasury all the submissions it has been provided during its consultations on the Code of Ethics drafts, and that it would be “fair” for Treasury to rethink the code’s seven standards.
Appearing on a SMSF Association National Conference webinar with Christina Kalantzis, compliance director at Alexis Compliance & Risk Solutions, it was put to Glenfield that when Treasury takes over FASEA’s standards-setting functions they would “perhaps looking at rejigging that into the form they want going forward”.
“I think that’s very fair,” the CEO replied.
Treasury making their own adjustments to the code based on industry feedback and their own assessment would be consistent with the structure provided by the Corporations Act for the education mandate, he explained.
“The Corporations Act required FASEA to put in place seven standards based on parliaments assessment of what was needed,” he said. “But the important part of that is in the Corporations Act it says those standards are there to be reviewed regularly, and to be assessed regularly.”
FASEA held a second round of consultation on the Code of Ethics in 2020 and released a second draft of the Code of Ethics at the end of the year. The CEO said 30 individual submissions were received.
“The standards have had their beginning period, and we’ve been watching them get bedded down and [we’ve seen] how they work,” he said. “And as part of that you’re gathering information on [whether] they can be made better, can we interpret them better and give better guidance, and that’s part of why we did the consultation around the code.”
In mid December the office of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and the (then) assistant minister for financial services, superannuation and technology, Jane Hume, presented the financial sector reform Bill to parliament, which announced that FASEA would be disbanded and have its role divided up between Treasury and ASIC’s Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP) – which is set to become the industry’s long-awaited single disciplinary body.
“With FASEA’s foundation work now largely complete, the time is right to for the process to be streamlined,” Hume told Professional Planner at the time.
Glenfield reminded the conference’s audience that the Bill was still yet to pass through parliament, but noted that he fully expected it to go through without delay.
Assuming it does, Glenfield said the transition will be thorough and all information will be provided to Treasury. “As part of the handover to Treasury when the legislation goes through we’ll be ensuring [they get] the feedback that’s come from stakeholders, and we’ll say ‘this is what they’re looking to change, these are the various views’.”
The submissions will be summarised in a way that helps Treasury incorporate them into legislation, he added.
“Indeed those submissions will end up on the FASEA website for the period we’re still here.”