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Stakeholders urged to submit on bill

Submitters are working to a tight timeframe to get their views in on the Financial Service Legislation Amendment Bill.

Monday, January 15th 2018, 6:00AM

When the exposure draft of FSLAB was first released for consultation in February last year, it was suggested that transitional licensing under the regime could commence in the first quarter of next year.

By the time the FSLAB was introduced to the house, timing for the commencement of the new regime had been pushed out to around May 2019, factoring in nine months from the finalisation of the new Code of Professional Conduct for financial advice services.

At the end of 2017, MBIE suggested the first reading of FSLB might be deferred until next year with a possible six-month delay in the proposed timeframe. But before Christmas it went through parliament with support from both sides.

Public submissions on the bill are now being sought, until February 23.

Financial services law specialists at Kensington Swan said the gap between the call for submissions and the closing date was generous at first glance.

“Normally, you would only have six weeks from the date of calling for submissions, and the closing date for getting in your submission. The Christmas / New Year close down period has been factored into the timing.

"What has not been factored into that timing is the ability of stakeholders to marshal their resources in time to formulate a properly thought out set of submissions, given the time of year.”

Once submissions have closed, the Select Committee will hear from those submitters who wish to speak to their submission, and report back by June 7.

It is expected the committee might report back more quickly, because the bill has already been through an extensive consultation period.

"However, it would be a shame if the marathon that has been the financial advice reform process is compromised through a final mad dash sprint to the finish line. There’s still quite a few points of detail that will take time to thrash out," Kensington Swan lawyers said.

They said it was still worth submitting. “The extent of the debate that has gone on since FSLAB was introduced back in August is such that a few cracks in what had been proposed, and some unintended consequences, have been identified. We also have a new Government in power, no doubt eager to ensure that its mark is squarely stamped on the new regime.

“What this means is that it is highly likely there will be movement on the detail of some of the key elements of the regime. Some of that movement might be pivotal for many stakeholders in finalising their strategies to respond to the reforms. The current submission process represents a final chance for financial advice providers to have a say in shaping their destiny."

An update from the working group developing the new code of conduct is expected in the first full week of February.

 

Tags: Code Working Group conduct Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill FSLAB MoBIE

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ANZ 8.64 7.74 7.39 7.25
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