The Case for Individual AFSLs

Should all financial advisers be individually licensed?

  • Yes (59%)
  • No (30%)
  • Not sure (11%)

Our latest poll asks whether you believe you and your adviser peers should become individually-licensed.

This question stems from a call made last week by Connect Financial’s Paul Tynan, whose key motivation in making this call relates to how the industry should be addressing what he sees as an inherent and significant conflict of interest.

Tynan believes it’s inevitable that individual adviser licensing will become the preferred model in future (see: Call for Individual AFSLs…). If this prediction eventuates it will mean the advice sector is set for more fundamental change, and we’re interested to know what you think.

Leaving aside for a moment how this change would impact current licensee firms (other than ‘own AFSL’ entities) and institutions who own distribution, the reaction we received to last weeks’ article has delivered differing viewpoints. One view effectively adopts the position that ‘if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it’, while the other supports the notion of individual AFSLs as a solution to addressing what is perceived to be a fundamental conflict of interest relating to which platforms or (by implication) which life insurance products the adviser can and/or should recommend to their clients.

There’s plenty more we could say on this topic, if only because of the impact such a fundamental change to the sector would imply. But we’d welcome your own thoughts on what you think this would mean within the financial services landscape…