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

Single Disciplinary Body


The FPA has long advocated for the removal of duplicative regulatory oversight, and the need to have just one government body to oversee the professional services of financial planner, set a single minimum entry requirement (education, experience and mentoring), a single mandatory code of ethics and other regulatory standards, and be the sole investigator of potential breaches of those standards.

The new Single Disciplinary Body (SDB) within ASIC will be based on the Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP).

ASIC will act as the secretariat for the SDB and may convene FSCP to consider financial planner misconduct and potential breaches of the financial services law and the FASEA standards.

The FSCP will be made up of members of the industry appointed by the relevant Minister, and provide a peer review mechanism that is able to hear and assess complaints and reports about an adviser’s compliance with the financial services laws and the Code of Ethics.

Breaches referred to Single Disciplinary Body

The single disciplinary body may consider breaches or likely breaches that are reported under the breach reporting requirements, received through complaints handling mechanisms, or identified through an ASIC investigation.

The new breach reporting requirements include reporting breaches (or likely breaches) of the Code. Rather than capturing all breaches, failing to comply with the Code of Ethics is reportable to ASIC under the new breach reporting regime only if the breach is serious or the ‘deemed significant’ test applies. This is to reduce the number of minor breaches being reported.

A breach is serious if it results in:

  • material loss or damage to a client
  • material benefit to the financial adviser
  • or involves dishonesty or fraud.

Determining whether a breach results, or is likely to result, in material loss or damage to a client depends on the client’s circumstances, including their financial circumstances.

Sanctions

The FSCP may apply sanctions where appropriate. The following sanctions will be posted on the planner’s registration on the Financial Adviser Register (FAR).

  • registration suspension orders or registration prohibition orders made by an FSCP, and
  • directions to undertake specified training, counselling or supervision or to report specified matters to ASIC,

…unless it is the first time an instrument has been made against the financial adviser.

First time ‘offences’ will not be listed on the FAR.

Warnings or reprimands will never be included on the FAR.

The FPA Four Policy Pillars

Read more about the Four Policy Pillars in this article from Financial Planning magazine.

Read more

Help us shape the future

Whilst we are extremely active in the development of policy submissions that affect financial planners and consumers, it is our desire to give FPA members a voice in this process.

If you would like to make a contribution to any ongoing policy issues, we would love to hear from you. You can submit your policy recommendation using this template. This will help you map out your policy recommendations in line with our Four Policy Pillars. Your completed submission can be emailed to [email protected].