Blog: Coalition backs ‘self-regulation’ of financial advisers – The Australian Financial Review

“And where I’d like to see the industry evolve from here, and move with speed, is as a profession equal in status to law and accountancy: a profession that can be covered by its own statute and that is responsible for its own education, its own qualifications, its own disciplinary regime, and is well respected and well regarded by all Australians.”

The comments indicate a significant policy shift for the Coalition, which in 2017 established the government-run Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) to oversee a new mandatory national exam, tertiary degree and industry code of ethics.

The Morrison government shut down FASEA in 2020, splitting its functions between the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and Treasury. It is understood industry bodies including the FPA and AFA had unsuccessfully lobbied the government to take over FASEA’s role.

Mr Robert, who has previously admitted the adviser education reforms were “poorly executed”, said the industry’s professional standards had improved in the past few years, allowing the Coalition to change tack.

“Government stepped in because, frankly, the industry couldn’t pull itself together,” he said. “But now that the industry has professionalised and truly become a profession now’s the time for all of that to go back to industry.”

He criticised Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones’ decision to subject the Levy recommendations to third-party expert analysis and another round of public consultation, describing the move as “ridiculous” and a “review of the review”.

The number of registered financial advisers has declined by 40 per cent since the Hayne royal commission in 2018, which levelled allegations of criminal wrongdoing against key providers.

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