ASIC has told Australian financial services licensees that they will not be in breach of the law because their financial advisers were not able to register with ASIC-approved compliances schemes.
The original deadline for registering was 1 January 2020. ASIC has now granted a three-year exemption to all AFSLs to ensure that financial advisers are covered by a compliance scheme.
The exemption also applies to the associated notification obligations.
ASIC said its action on this matter follows the government's announcement that it will accelerate the establishment of a single disciplinary body for financial advisers.
The disciplinary body will displace the roles of the compliance schemes that AFSLs had to ensure their advisers were registered with - rendering such schemes shortly redundant.
The disciplinary body will be charged with monitoring and enforcing the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority Code of Ethics.
Following the announcement of the disciplinary body, on October 11, ASIC sought to assure AFSLs that it would not continue to require registrations to disciplinary bodies - given that those disciplinary bodies would soon be displaced by the new body.
Despite the lack of a monitoring body for the code, ASIC said: "AFS licensees will still be required to take reasonable steps to ensure that their financial advisers comply with the code from 1 January 2020, and advisers will still be obliged to comply with the code from that date onwards. ASIC may take enforcement action where it receives breach reports."