Date posted: 21/02/2018 3 min read

Financial Advisory Services Regulatory Update - Australia

Important information from ASIC for financial advisers on the new standards, limited licensee obligations and SMSF establishment

In Brief

  • Information on the new education, training and ethical standards for financial advisers
  • Guidance on limited AFS licensee obligations
  • Article on accountants assisting clients to establish an SMSF

New education, training and ethical standards reforms for financial advisers 

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has created a new section on its website to help existing and new financial advisers prepare for the incoming requirements aimed at raising the education, training and ethical standards of the financial advice sector.

ASIC’s website now provides a summary of the new reforms as well as related information on:

  • the scope of the reforms
  • the obligations of advisers
  • the commencement dates of the reforms
  • the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority
  • compliance schemes for the Code of Ethics, and
  • updates to the Financial Advisers Register.

The information on commencement dates of the reforms includes guidance on transitional arrangements for existing advisers and the application of RG 146.

AFS licensees are advised to be aware that they will be required to provide additional information to ASIC, which will need to be added to ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register.

Information on the standards reforms for financial advisers

Read the new section on ASIC’s website on the standards reforms for financial advisers.

Read more

Guidance on limited AFS licensee obligations

In late 2017, ASIC released new guidance to help limited AFS licensees and their representatives understand their key obligations, including in regard to the main concerns identified by ASIC during its visits to limited AFS licensees during 2016-2017 to assess how they were operating under their new licences.

ASIC consulted with Chartered Accountants ANZ in developing this new guidance, which includes a webpage and information sheets:

  1. Webpage – Limited AFS licensees which explains who is a limited AFS licensee and a representative of a limited AFS licensee
  2. Information Sheet 227 What can limited AFS licensees do? (INFO 227) which explains the activities that limited AFS licensees can undertake
  3. Information Sheet 228 Limited AFS licensees: Advice conduct and disclosure obligations when providing advice under a limited AFS licence (INFO 228) which sets out the conduct and disclosure obligations that apply to limited AFS licensees when they give advice
  4. Information Sheet 229 Limited AFS licensees: Complying with your licensing obligations (INFO 229) detailing what limited AFS licensees need to do on an ongoing basis
  5. Quick guide: Key obligations when giving advice under a limited AFS licence – a useful reference which highlights some of the main obligations that apply when giving advice to retail clients under a limited AFS licence.

Members are encouraged to read this new guidance in full and continue to refer to it as required.

Guidance overview

Read ASIC’s media release on its guidance for limited AFS licensees.

Read more

Webpage guidance and information sheets

Read ASIC’s guidance to help limited AFS licensees understand their obligations.

Read more

Quick guide on key obligations

Download ASIC’s quick guide on key obligations that apply to limited AFS licensees.

Download guide

Accountants assisting clients to establish an SMSF

ASIC has developed an article, at the request of Chartered Accountants ANZ, to assist both unlicensed accountants and licensed accountants to understand the extent to which they can assist their clients with self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) establishment services.

The article particularly addresses some continuing areas of uncertainty in the industry around whether unlicensed accountants can still assist their clients to establish an SMSF, following removal of the ‘accountants’ exemption’ on 1 July 2016.

Article on SMSF establishment services

Download ASIC’s article on unlicensed accountants and licensed accountants assisting their clients to establish an SMSF.

Download

Search related topics