Date posted: 16/09/2020

Regulatory reform: limited licensing and the accountants’ exemption

The CA ANZ financial advice advocacy team in Australia is currently working on a review of limited licensing to develop an effective and permanent model for the provision of limited financial advice by accountants.

In brief

  • The current model for the provision of limited financial advice has become unworkable
  • CA ANZ proposes a 'strategic advice' model which is decoupled from products
  • The proposed model means more Australians can benefit from more affordable quality financial advice from a trusted professional adviser

Submission to ASIC CP 332: Promoting access to affordable advice for consumers

Affordable advice is key to reset for individuals and small businesses

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Latest update - Have your say on limited licensing

ASIC asks for your direct help to improve financial advice.

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Regulatory reform of financial planning model submission

The current model for the provision of financial advice has become unworkable. Challenges faced by licensees and their representatives include adhering to multiple licences, registrations and regulators, complying with the recent raft of FASEA's standards and considering ramifications of the Royal Commission findings. With the recent increase in ASIC's industry funding levy, it has become increasingly difficult for many Australians to create a financial plan, set financial goals and achieve financial security in this rapidly changing environment.

To address these issues, over the past 2 years CA ANZ has developed a 'strategic advice' model which is decoupled from products and, as such, doesn't require an AFSL. By removing the need for multiple licences, registrations, regulators and associated levies, the costs of providing strategic financial advice will lessen for both advisers and their clients. This proposed 'strategic advice model' will replace the unwieldy limited licencing regime, permitting suitably qualified professional advisers to provide strategic and scaled advice without an AFSL. The concept has already been taken to Senator Jane Hume, the Prime Minister's Office as well as the Treasurer's Office, where it was received with interest.

Together with four other member associations (CPA, IPA, SMSFA and FPA), we have prepared a submission to the National COVID-19 Co-ordination Committee (NCCC), suggesting the strategic advice model as a pathway to untangle the regulatory complexity for advisers post COVID-19, so more Australians can benefit by having more affordable quality financial advice from a trusted professional adviser.

Providing advice around the early access to super

Together with other associations, CA ANZ sought and obtained relief measures that saw accountants able to provide advice without an AFSL and without the need for a complex Statement of Advice in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This reform was a step in the right direction to broaden the scope of advice allowed by Chartered Accountants without an AFSL and will be used as a stepping-stone for further reforms outlined above.

Early access to super

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