ASIC has today released new guidance about the Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP), including an update to Regulatory Guide 263 Financial Services and Credit Panel (RG 263) and the new Information Sheet 273 FSCP decisions: Your rights (INFO 273).
RG 263 provides an overview of the purposes and composition of the FSCP, an outline of the actions a sitting panel may take, as well as the FSCP’s processes and procedures around hearings, decisions and confidentiality. Our update of RG 263 takes into account submissions received in response to Consultation Paper 359 Update to RG 263 Financial Services and Credit Panel (CP 359).
INFO 273 outlines the rights of financial advisers affected by an FSCP decision, including how to make an application to vary or revoke FSCP decisions and how to seek an independent review of FSCP decisions. A copy of INFO 273 will be provided to financial advisers when they receive a decision from the FSCP.
ASIC Commissioner Danielle Press said, ‘The FSCP has been given its own functions and powers to consider and take action in response to financial adviser misconduct. We look forward to working with the industry members of the FSCP who will bring their technical knowledge and practical experience to disciplinary decisions.’
‘The FSCP, combined with ASIC’s new warning and reprimand powers, enables ASIC to respond to a range of financial advice misconduct, including lower-level misconduct that may otherwise go unaddressed.’
In addition to this new guidance, ASIC has also published Report 734 Response to submissions on CP 359 Update to RG 263 Financial Services and Credit Panel (REP 734). The report highlights the key issues that arose out of the submissions received on CP 359 and details our responses to those issues.
The submissions received were generally supportive of ASIC’s proposed approach. ASIC received three confidential and eight non-confidential written submissions. Copies of the non-confidential submissions are on the CP 359 page on the ASIC website.
- Regulatory Guide 263 Financial Services and Credit Panel
- Information Sheet 273 FSCP decisions: Your rights
- Report 734 Response to submissions on CP 359 Update to RG 263 Financial Services and Credit Panel
- Non-confidential submissions published on CP 359 page on the ASIC website
In December 2020, the Government announced that it would expand the operation of the Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP) to give effect to Recommendation 2.10 of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (Financial Services Royal Commission), which called for a single, central disciplinary body to be established for financial advisers.
The Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response—Better Advice) Act 2021 (Better Advice Act) gives effect to this recommendation by giving the FSCP its own legislative functions and powers to address a range of misconduct by, and circumstances relating to, financial advisers.
The new FSCP replaces the panel of external delegates established by ASIC in 2017 to make administrative decisions on financial services and credit matters (superseded FSCP). The superseded FSCP ceased to operate from 1 July 2021, in anticipation of the reforms in the Better Advice Act.
ASIC can refer disciplinary matters regarding financial advisers to the FSCP. The FSCP acts separately from, but alongside, ASIC’s own administrative decision-making processes.
The responsible Minister appointed a number of industry participants to the FSCP (FSCP members) that ASIC draws upon when forming individual sitting panels. Sitting panels convened by ASIC comprise an ASIC staff member and at least two FSCP members.
In February 2022, ASIC issued Consultation Paper 359 Update to RG 263 Financial Services and Credit Panel (CP 359) seeking stakeholder feedback on our proposed updates to Regulatory Guide 263 Financial Services and Credit Panel (RG 263).
- Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response—Better Advice) Act 2021
- Financial Sector Reform Amendment (Hayne Royal Commission Response—Better Advice) Regulations 2021
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Financial Services and Credit Panels) Determination 2022.
- Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP)
- Regulatory Guide 8 Hearings practice manual