The Financial Planning Association of Australia The Financial Planning Association of Australia

FPA welcomes ASIC Regulatory Relief for financial planners around COVID-19

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) welcomes ASIC’s new regulatory relief, which will make it easier for financial planners to help Australians during COVID-19.

The FPA has strongly advocated for a reduction in regulatory burdens on behalf of all financial planners across Australia, as well as working cooperatively with four other associations as part of the Regulatory Burden Taskforce.

Dante De Gori CFP®, CEO of the FPA, said: “It’s great to see progress made during the last few months. A lot of Australians are finding themselves in a financial situation they have never experienced before. During these unprecedented times, people are hungry for professional assistance and certainty in making decisions about their personal financial issues.

These measures will reduce the administrative cost and time burden on financial planners so they can provide advice to all Australians and help them manage their financial position to reduce stress, sleep more peacefully at night and focus on their personal wellbeing.”

AISC regulatory relief measures include:

  • an extension of time critical provisions from 5 to 30 days for new and existing clients seeking advice due to COVID-19
  • exemption from providing an Statement of Advice (SOA) for existing clients seeking advice due to COVID-19. Existing clients include any client of the Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) or practice even if they have previously seen another planner.

ASIC’s relief and no-action position are temporary and subject to the important conditions, including:

  • clients must be provided with a record of advice (ROA), which meets certain content requirements. An ROA is a shorter, simpler document that sets out the advice that is being provided
  • the advice fee, if any, is capped at $300 in relation to early access of superannuation
  • the advice provider must establish that the client is entitled to the early release of their superannuation
  • the client must have approached the advice provider for the advice.

“This is a good step in the right direction by ASIC and provides welcome regulatory relief around providing advice and the Statement of Advice to Australians in financial need. Our members have been telling us that the cost of regulation and time constraints have become a major issue while servicing their clients who just need professional support at this time.”

“We look forward to continuing working with ASIC and the Regulatory Burden Taskforce on more regulatory relief and we strongly encourage our members to keep sharing their feedback on what further support they need through the FPA Community.”