Judith Fox

Frustration with explaining their role in the industry to FASEA has led to the Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers Association (SAFAA) changing its name to the Stockbrokers and Investment Advisers Association (SIAA).

Announced on Friday morning, the name change aims to better reflect the new SIAA’s broader purpose and its place in the industry, with the old name becoming too much of a misnomer according to association chief executive Judith Fox.

The CEO tells Professional Planner FASEA applied a “financial planning lens” which didn’t fit the association’s remit.

“We realised it was difficult for us to get them to understand our members provided a different service,” Fox says.

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority was disbanded at the start of 2022, with its standards setting functions handed to Treasury, exam duties transferred to ASIC and code monitoring responsibility given to ASIC’s Financial Services and Credit Panel in its new role as the industry’s Single Disciplinary Body.

Despite FASEA’s ultimate demise, Fox believes its one-size-fits-all legacy remains. With the Quality of Advice Review underway, she says the approach should be reconsidered.

“It’s time to look at that one size fits all regulatory framework and to ask if that’s still appropriate, and the review is the perfect opportunity for that.”

SIAA has already received one win in the advice review as changes to the wholesale definition rules which it opposed have been left out of the review’s terms of reference, putting it at odds with ASIC on the issue.

Different strokes

SIAA’s membership includes full-service and online brokers, wealth advice and portfolio management services as well as financial advice.

The name change will distinguish SIAA’s membership cohort from other financial advice providers including holistic financial advices, risk advisers and mortgage brokers.

“With the Quality of Advice Review coming, understanding there’s a broad ecosystem of financial advice and what our members do is one part of it,” Fox says. “For us, it’s about clarifying what our members do but it’s also about helping people understanding the broader ecosystem.”

Fox says the association received unanimous support from members to change the name.

“We loved that. I don’t use that word lightly but it was a unanimous vote from members which was fantastic. We had to talk to our members over a period of time to see what they thought about the new name because it has to reflect what they believe.”