Advisers Urged to Check Registration Status

Financial advisers have been urged to check they are registered on ASIC’s Financial Adviser Register (FAR) before the end of the year to avoid being considered as a new entrant to the industry and subject to differing education requirements than for existing advisers.

ASIC stated that currently authorised financial advisers had until 31 December 2018 to be registered on the FAR ahead of the implementation of new education requirements overseen by FASEA on 1 January 2019.

Under the education reforms, only advisers who were authorised at any time between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019, and are not prohibited from providing advice on 1 January 2019, will be recognised as an ‘existing provider’ of advice.

The regulator added that current advisers can show they are an ‘existing provider’  if they had the status of ‘current’ on the FAR during any time in this period.

Advisers who have not registered by the start of 2019 will be considered as new entrants and required to complete an approved qualification, pass an exam before they can be authorised to provide advice, and will have to complete a year of supervised work and training.

The AFA also called on its members to check their status, reminding advisers who may be self-licensed that they were also required to be registered as an ‘existing provider’.

“We have observed that some self-licensed advisers may not have understood the requirement to be registered on the Financial Adviser Register, as they were not and did not need to be registered on the ASIC Authorised Representatives register,” the Association noted, adding, “It is critical that anyone who is in doubt check the FAR.”

ASIC added it was the responsibility of the Australian financial services licensees who authorise advisers to ensure the latter were recorded on the FAR and called for advisers to speak with their licensee to ensure they were registered before the end of the year.