The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has begun consultation on increased competence requirements for advice licensees and their responsible managers to support the professional standards reforms in the financial advice industry.
ASIC has proposed updates to “Regulatory Guide 105 Licensing: Organisational competence” (RG 105), including requiring responsible managers of advice licensees to pass the financial adviser exam and hold a bachelor or higher degree or equivalent approved by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority.
They must also meet continuing professional development requirements.
Furthermore, both new and existing responsible managers who wish to satisfy a new competency option – option 6 – will have until 1 January 2021 to pass the exam and until 1 January 2024 to satisfy the degree requirement.
Advice licensees will be required to have at least one responsible manager who satisfies these requirements.
The requirements are stipulated in a new option (option 6), which has been added to the existing options for responsible managers in “Consultation 305 Organisational competence requirements for advice licensees: update to RG 105” (CP 305).
ASIC commissioner Danielle Press said: “Our proposals are designed to strengthen the organisational competence of financial advice licensees by ensuring that advisers are supervised by at least one responsible manager who satisfies the new education and training standards.
“This option will reflect the higher levels of competence expected in the industry.”
Submissions for CP 305 are due by 6 December. The updated RG 105 with the new organisational competence requirements for advice licensees is expected to be released in early 2019.