The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) is claiming a minor lobbying victory with financial advisers now officially not required to seek variations to their licensing arrangements to operate within the new regulatory regime covering insurance claims handling.
The AFA last week sent a message to members stating that the Government had released a regulation that would provide an exemption for financial advisers from the need to vary their Australian Financial Services License in order to provide claims handling.
The AFA had lobbied the Government hard on the issue after the initial outline of the Government’s legislation - the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response) Bill 2020 - left doubt about the status of advisers in claims handling.
The AFA said that, at that time, there was some concern expressed about whether financial advisers needed to vary their licence to include an authorisation for claims handling.
“We were aware at that time of the possibility of a regulation excluding financial advisers, and therefore encouraged members to wait and see what emerged,” it said.
It said the regulation now released by the Government provided the necessary exemption.
"This regulation provides an exemption for individually licensed advisers and authorised representatives. It appears to meet the needs of the small business financial adviser population,” the AFA told its members.
“Whilst the regulation does not specifically refer to staff members of financial advice practices playing a role in claims handling, we were pleased to see that this was specifically referred to in the explanatory statement,” it said.