Financial Services and Credit Panel
The Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP) is a pool of industry participants, appointed by the Minister responsible for administering the Corporations Act 2001, that ASIC draws upon when forming individual sitting panels (sitting panels). The pool of appointed industry participants is listed in the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Financial Services and Credit Panels) Determination 2022. A sitting panel will be convened by ASIC to consider certain suspected misconduct by, or circumstances relating to, a financial adviser.
Note: Recommendation 2.10 of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, which the Government accepted, was to establish a new disciplinary system for financial advisers.
The Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response – Better Advice) Act 2021 (Act) subsequently received Royal Assent on 28 October 2021 and commenced on 1 January 2022. The Act gives the FSCP its own statutory functions and powers.
Each sitting panel comprises of an ASIC staff member and at least two members from the FSCP.
ASIC will be consulting on an update to Regulatory Guide 263: Financial Services and Credit Panel in early 2022 to reflect the changes to the functions of the FSCP introduced by the Act.
The FSCP operates separately from, but alongside, ASIC’s existing administrative decision-making processes. Each sitting panel has a range of powers that will enable it to respond to a range of misconduct, including lower-level misconduct.
The powers of a sitting panel include:
- the power to direct financial advisers to undertake specified training, counselling, supervision or report certain matters to ASIC;
- the power to suspend or prohibit a financial adviser’s registration;
- the power to issue infringement notices in specified circumstances;
- the power to recommend that ASIC commence civil penalty proceedings; and
- the power to accept enforceable undertakings from financial advisers.
ASIC must convene an FSCP in circumstances prescribed in reg 12N of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Regulations 2021. For example, ASIC must convene an FSCP where we reasonably believe that a financial adviser is not a fit and proper person to provide advice or a financial adviser becomes an insolvent under administration and ASIC is aware of this.