The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released online guidance and information sheets for limited Australian financial service (AFS) licensees, delivering on its commitment to help licensees better understand their obligations.
The guidance covers the main issues that limited AFS licensees had requested additional guidance on, following ASIC visits to 20 limited licensees in 2016 and 2017. A number of these licensees told ASIC that they were actively seeking training and assistance on a number of aspects of the licence regime.
Of those that ASIC met with, many said that they were uncertain on their ongoing compliance obligations as licensees, what information they needed to upload to the Financial Adviser Register, and what documents they needed to provide clients seeking advice on self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs).
This followed changes wrought by the Future of Financial Advice reforms last year, that meant that from 1 July 2016 accountants who wished to give clients advice about SMSFs could no longer do so without an AFS licence.
As a result, as at 30 June 2017 ASIC had granted 787 limited AFS licences, which would grant permission for holders to provide a limited range of advice relevant to SMSFs.
The guidance material would give accountants assistant in understanding who is a limited AFS licensee and a representative of a licensee, the activities that such licensees can undertake, their conduct and disclosure obligations, and what obligations they would need to meet on an ongoing basis.
The material was tailored specifically for limited AFS licensees in consultation with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and Certified Practicing Accountants Australia.