Accountants who continue to provide self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) advice in the absence of being appropriately licensed are placing themselves in the same category as property spruikers and will be treated accordingly, according to Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) commissioner, Greg Tanzer.
Tanzer told Money Management's Fintech Platforms and Wraps Conference that the regulator was conscious that the number of accountants who had sought to become licensed had fallen short of ASIC's expectations, notwithstanding the spike which had occurred just ahead of the 1 July, 2016 deadline.
He also noted the number of licensing applications which had so far failed to gain ASIC approval and said that the regulator would be continuing to closely monitor the situation.
In doing so, Tanzer said that there may be some in the accounting community who believed they were above the licensing requirements but urged them to reconsider such notions.
"By continuing to give advice around SMSFs without being licensed they are placing themselves in the same category as property spruikers and others who have given advice without being appropriately licensed," he said.
Elsewhere in his address to the conference, Tanzer pointed to ASIC's current review of the regulatory environment around separately managed accounts and the fact that the relevant class orders would reach their sunset in October.
He referred to some liberal interpretations MDA promoters had given to no action letters issued by ASIC in 2004 and indicated the regulator would be addressing the issue when new arrangements were announced in October.