- Financial advisers (known as relevant providers) who are not registered with ASIC before 16 February 2024 will need to cease providing personal advice to retail clients.
- AFS licensees are urged to register their relevant providers as a priority via ASIC Connect.
- From 16 February 2024, advisers who provide personal advice to retail clients, together with their AFS licensee(s), will be in breach of the law and face potential regulatory action.
From 16 February 2024, all relevant providers, including time-share advisers, must be registered with ASIC. Provisional relevant providers cannot be registered.
Between 1 February 2024 and 5 February 2024, ASIC individually emailed relevant providers who were not registered as at 1 February 2024, reminding them of the requirement to be registered by their AFS licensee.
ASIC records show that, as at 9.00am on 6 February 2024, 757 (4.9%) individual relevant providers (including time-share advisers) are still not registered with ASIC.
ASIC encourages relevant providers to check their registration status on the Financial Advisers Register today to ensure that they are recorded as 'registered'. If they are not recorded as 'registered', they will need to cease providing personal advice from midnight 15 February 2024, until such time as they are registered and noted as such on the Financial Adviser Register. This includes all personal advice as well as ongoing advice services.
From 16 February 2024, if a relevant provider provides personal advice while not registered, they will be in breach of a restricted civil penalty provision and the relevant provider's authorising AFS licensee(s) will have committed an offence of strict liability and contravened a civil penalty provision.
AFS licensees can apply to register their relevant providers now using ASIC Connect by lodging a 'Registering a Relevant Provider' transaction.
The requirement for relevant providers to be registered is an ongoing obligation, commencing on 16 February 2024. Relevant providers and their AFS licensees should have robust processes in place to ensure that a relevant provider is registered prior to the provision of personal advice to retail clients in relation to relevant financial products. AFS licensees should also ensure they understand the circumstances in which a relevant provider's registration will cease. See ASIC's guidance in information sheets INFO 276 and INFO 277.
ASIC will commence a program to ensure compliance with this new obligation shortly.
ASIC is Australia's corporate, markets and financial services regulator.