29 September 2021

Better Advice Bill – Exposure Draft Regulations

The Morrison Government has today released for consultation exposure draft regulations and a draft legislative instrument underpinning the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response—Better Advice) Bill 2021 (the Better Advice Bill).

The Better Advice Bill establishes a single disciplinary body and new registration system for financial advisers, including tax (financial) advisers. It also winds up the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority and transfers its functions to the Government. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will be responsible for administering the financial adviser exam.

The Better Advice Bill passed the House of Representatives on 4 August 2021 and is scheduled to commence on 1 January 2022.

The exposure draft regulations and legislative instrument will implement key elements to support the operation of the Better Advice Bill, including:

  • setting criteria for when ASIC must refer disciplinary matters to the single disciplinary body to ensure the new system is effective in identifying and addressing financial adviser misconduct;
  • prescribing which administrative sanctions made against a financial adviser must be included on the Financial Advisers Register to increase public transparency and consumer protection;
  • setting a framework for the financial adviser exam to be administered by ASIC;
  • extending the deadline to complete the financial adviser exam to 30 September 2022 for financial advisers who have attempted the exam twice before 31 December 2021;
  • setting new fees for the financial adviser exam and registration from 1 January 2022; and
  • outlining the registration, education and training requirements for financial advisers providing tax (financial) advice services.

The Morrison Government is committed to strengthening oversight of the financial advice sector while simplifying the regulatory framework governing the provision of financial advice, helping to reduce cost for advisers. These reforms will ensure Australians are able to make informed decisions and have access to affordable and high‑quality advice.

The Exposure Draft Regulations and Legislative Instruments are available on the Treasury website.

Submissions are invited by Friday 15 October 2021 and can be sent to SDBconsultation@treasury.gov.au.