Contrary to inaccurate assertions in the Fairfax press this morning, the Government remains fully committed and on track to deliver on its enhanced, industry-wide public register of financial advisers by March 2015.
The register of financial advisers will enable investors, employers and ASIC to verify the credentials of financial advisers and be confident that they are appropriately qualified and experienced.
As previously announced, the detail and content of this register was informed by the recommendations of an expert industry working group convened by the Government, which included relevant financial services industry stakeholders, as well as consumer and academic representatives.
As of March 2015, the register of financial advisers will include:
- the adviser's name, registration number, status, and experience;
- the adviser's qualifications and professional association memberships;
- the adviser's licensee, previous licensees/authorised representatives and business name;
- what product areas the adviser can provide advice on;
- any bans, disqualifications or enforceable undertakings; and
- details around ownership of the financial services licensee and disclosure of the ultimate parent company where applicable.
At present, adviser's minimum qualification requirements are governed by ASIC regulatory guidance 146.
We are working with all relevant stakeholders on efficient and effective ways to lift professional, ethical and educational standards across the financial advice industry. As we progress relevant improvements, in particular to educational standards, those improvements will immediately be reflected as appropriate within the structure and operation of the financial adviser register.
Our goal remains to ensure that we have a robust but efficient financial services regulatory system, which is competitively neutral so that people saving for their retirement or managing financial risks through life can access high quality advice they can trust and which is also affordable.