FASEA reforms see ASIC register swell

Calls for existing financial advisers to join ASIC's Financial Advisers Register (FAR) were answered in 2018. More than 3300 names were added throughout the year.

Rainmaker analysis of the ASIC Financial Advisers Register shows advisers registered with the regulator grew from 25,484 to 28,863 in the 12 months to January 2019.

Of the 28,863 on the register, 28,333 are active financial advisers. A further 1329 are limited to providing financial product advice on SMSFs or a person's existing hold in a superannuation product.

It is likely many of the 3379 new registrations were completed to ensure recognition as an existing practitioner ahead of the introduction of the new professional standards requirements last week.

Under the reforms, only those advisers that were authorised at any time between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019 will be considered an existing adviser by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).

The only way for an adviser to demonstrate they are an existing provider is to have been listed on the ASIC FAR with a 'current' status at any point during the same period.

Any advisers that failed to register with ASIC prior to 1 January 2019 will be considered new entrants for the purpose of meeting education and training requirements.

The balance of those listed on ASIC FAR are time share companies.

Despite the increase in numbers on the register, an exodus of advisers is still predicted to occur as early as this year as those not wishing to complete further education look to leave the industry.

A shift is also expected to occur in regards to which AFSL advisers are licensed under, with the move away from institutional licensees continuing steadily and likely to hasten as big player exit wealth management.

It has been widely reported this week that more than 20 financial advisers from Macquarie's private wealth division moved elsewhere at the end of 2018. The ASIC FAR shows a further 29 Macquarie advisers ceased in the last month.

Rainmaker analysis of FAR data shows the number of advisers licensed by Macquarie dropped from 269 to 212 in the 12 months to January 2019.

Read more: ASICMacquarieFASEARainmakerFinancial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority
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