ASIC Extends Registration Deadline for Financial Advisors by 2 Weeks

The Australian financial market regulator has provided a two-week extension for Australia Financial Service license holders to register the financial advisers associated with them who provide personal advice to retail clients. The deadline for registration has been pushed multiple times before, with the new deadline set for 16 February 2024.

According to the official announcement today (Thursday), the records with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) show that 4,036 or 26 percent of the financial advisors in the country advising retail clients on relevant products, are yet to register after 18 January 2024.

The regulator highlighted that it had granted the extension as the deadline “coincided with the summer holiday period.” However, it would not provide any further extension.

ASIC came up with the mandatory registration process for financial advisors following a recommendation by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation, and Financial Services Industry.

According to the regulator, all relevant providers in Australia, including time-share advisers, must be registered following the deadline. However, it does not include provisional relevant providers.

Enforcement Action for Non-Compliance

ASIC stressed that any relevant provider giving personal advice while they are unregistered will result in a breach of a restricted civil penalty provision. Further, any compliance failure would result in significant consequences for unregistered financial advisers.

“The provision of personal advice by unregistered advisers is prohibited and carries significant penalties,” said the Commissioner of ASIC, Alan Kirkland. “ASIC has provided a short extension in recognition of the fact that the initial period for registration has coincided with the summer holiday period.”

“After the revised deadline has passed, ASIC will begin a program to check compliance with this requirement and will take enforcement action where we identify advisers who have provided advice while unregistered.”

Although not specified, the mandatory registration requirement can cripple financial influencers, otherwise called finfluencers, most of whom are unregistered. Earlier, ASIC already took action against one such well-known finfluencers by banning him from offering financial advice.

The Australian financial market regulator has provided a two-week extension for Australia Financial Service license holders to register the financial advisers associated with them who provide personal advice to retail clients. The deadline for registration has been pushed multiple times before, with the new deadline set for 16 February 2024.

According to the official announcement today (Thursday), the records with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) show that 4,036 or 26 percent of the financial advisors in the country advising retail clients on relevant products, are yet to register after 18 January 2024.

The regulator highlighted that it had granted the extension as the deadline “coincided with the summer holiday period.” However, it would not provide any further extension.

ASIC came up with the mandatory registration process for financial advisors following a recommendation by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation, and Financial Services Industry.

According to the regulator, all relevant providers in Australia, including time-share advisers, must be registered following the deadline. However, it does not include provisional relevant providers.

Enforcement Action for Non-Compliance

ASIC stressed that any relevant provider giving personal advice while they are unregistered will result in a breach of a restricted civil penalty provision. Further, any compliance failure would result in significant consequences for unregistered financial advisers.

“The provision of personal advice by unregistered advisers is prohibited and carries significant penalties,” said the Commissioner of ASIC, Alan Kirkland. “ASIC has provided a short extension in recognition of the fact that the initial period for registration has coincided with the summer holiday period.”

“After the revised deadline has passed, ASIC will begin a program to check compliance with this requirement and will take enforcement action where we identify advisers who have provided advice while unregistered.”

Although not specified, the mandatory registration requirement can cripple financial influencers, otherwise called finfluencers, most of whom are unregistered. Earlier, ASIC already took action against one such well-known finfluencers by banning him from offering financial advice.


link