Leah Sciacca

Less serious misconduct issues may still see advisers face the Financial Services and Credit Panel, according to the regulator.

ASIC senior leader for financial advisers Leah Sciacca reminded advisers at the FAAA Roadshow in Sydney on Monday the regime is in operation.

“The FSCP is in operation and has expanded powers to enable it to address a broader range of circumstances, including less serious misconduct by financial advisers,” Sciacca said.

The regulator released its reprimand parameters last year, which indicated less serious cases wouldn’t require a hearing.

Sciacca said when panel matters are completed, ASIC will publish a summary of the decisions on the ASIC website which remains in line with last year’s guidance.

“From time to time, we may also issue a media release where appropriate,” Sciacca said. “Financial advisers will not be named in the media release or on the outcomes register, unless the decision made by the panel is required to be recorded on the Financial Adviser Register.”

Although FASEA was wound up at the end of 2021, Sciacca reminded advisers the Code of Ethics still applied.

“Compliance with the Code of Ethics is a consideration for us when assessing financial adviser conduct and I’m sure it is front of mind for you and your advice licensees as well,” she said.

Sciacca noted there may be more delay to the relevant provider registration which the Minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones announced would be held off until the middle of the year.

She attributed the hold up to amendments to the Better Advice Act before Parliament that relate to the registration process which may impact timing, as well ensuring the regulators IT systems are ready.

Registration was meant to occur in two stages, with the first stage being a one-off registration process administered by ASIC using the FAR.

The second stage would commence once the FAR transitions to the ATO as part of the Australian Business Registry Service.