ASIC, financial advice

Adviser registration deadline extended

ASIC registration Deadline Extension Financial advisers

ASIC has given a final deadline extension deadline for adviser registration to avoid the end of the summer holiday period.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has extended the deadline for financial advisers to be registered with it by two weeks noting around 4000 practitioners are still unregistered.

The registration period has been extended to 16 February in recognition of the previous deadline of 1 February being potentially impacted by the end of the summer holiday period. It noted as of 18 January 4036 advisers had yet to be registered.

The new deadline will be the final extension given to advisers to register with ASIC and is the fifth date provided to comply with that obligation after the initial cut-off was set for 1 January 2023, before being moved by the government to 1 July 2023 and moved again by ASIC to 1 October 2023 and then 1 February 2024.

ASIC Commissioner Alan Kirkland warned advisers who failed to meet the latest deadline would be breaking the law and subject to enforcement action.

“The provision of personal advice by unregistered advisers is prohibited and carries significant penalties,” Kirkland said.

“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,” he explained.

ASIC added the registration requirement applies to all ‘relevant providers’, but not provisional relevant providers, and unregistered practitioners will be considered in breach of a restricted civil penalty provision. Further their Australian financial services (AFS) licensee will be deemed to have committed an offence of strict liability and will have contravened a civil penalty provision.

The registration requirement was one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry and is separate to pre-existing requirements for an AFS licensee to appoint a relevant provider to the Financial Advisers Register once they have been authorised.

Last week, the Financial Advice Association Australia also warned advisers to register with ASIC ahead of the 1 February deadline stating, at the time, that nearly 6000 advisers had yet to do so.

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