“Where everybody knows your name
And they’re always glad you came
You wanna be where you can see
Our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows your name”
— Register of Financial Advisers – Draft Explanatory Statement
Start at the very beginning
Am I a registered relevant provider with ASIC? If you find yourself wondering whether you are a registered relevant provider (or if you don’t know what a registered relevant provider is), read on, because this article is for you.
What is a registered relevant provider ?
From 1 February 2024, Financial Advisers must be registered with ASIC. This requirement was introduced by the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response – Better Advice) Act 2021 (Better Advice Act). Only provisional relevant providers are exempt from registration.
Like many, you may be finding this process a little daunting. You may have read ASIC’s INFO Sheet 277, that references INFO Sheet 276 and INFO Sheet 268 and the flowchart that must be read in conjunction with 268. To save you the time, we have summarised what you need to know below:
Your registration requirement is an ongoing obligation, separate to the requirement for AFSLs to authorise and appoint financial advisers to the Financial Adviser Register. From 1 February 2024 you must be registered to provide personal financial advice to retail clients, if you are not registered and provide personal financial advice to retails clients post 1 February 2024 you will be in breach of a civil penalty provision and may be subject to regulatory action.
The Adviser registration process
Stage 1 – current stage
AFSLs must register their authorised relevant providers before 1 February 2024 via ASIC Connect.
Will commence no later than 1 July 2026, this will require relevant providers to register themselves. More information to follow closer to this date.
You might be thinking, why are we telling you this in December, there is still plenty of time? Registration only takes effect once ASIC record the registration on the Financial Adviser Register (FAR).
Until the FAR records your registration (as above), you cannot lawfully provide personal advice to retail clients post 1 February 2024.
Once your AFSL submits your registration, they will receive a notice of registration or in some instances a notice of refusal within five business days of a registration decision being made.
Your AFSL will require a declaration from you before they can commence to lodge your registration. All relevant providers must declare that they are a fit and proper person to the registering AFSL (i.e. the AFSL you are currently authorised by). There is no prescribed form for this, the form in which this declaration is given is a matter for you and your AFSL to determine. ASIC has provided guidance via INFO Sheet 277 on what matters that should be considered. For Assured Support clients, we have built an Adviser Declaration into OpenAFSL which will be saved again the Advisers record.
Once your AFSL is satisfied your declaration allows them to confirm to ASIC they:
- have received a declaration from their relevant providers that they are fit and proper and able to provide personal advice to retail clients on relevant financial products; and
- are not aware of any reason why the relevant providers may not be a fit and proper person to provide personal advice to retail clients on relevant financial products.
They will be able to lodge the registration via ASIC Connect, each application to register a relevant provider will incur a $50 fee, however, Licensees are able to register up to 25 relevant providers each lodgement. This fee is incurred regardless of whether the application is approved or refused.
Once registered, ASIC will forward the notice of registration to the relevant providers listed email address.
What if the FAR already has you listed Registered?
Some relevant providers were ‘deemed’ registered under transitional provisions, generally these applied to relevant providers who:
- were registered as an individual tax (financial) adviser with the Tax Practitioners Board immediately before 1 January 2022, or
- had a pending application for registration as an individual tax (financial) adviser with the Tax Practitioners Board which was approved after 1 January 2022.
The difference between deemed registrations and other registrations is that an AFSL was not required to lodge the application with ASIC to register the relevant providers that are deemed registered. Confused? Perhaps this flowchart will assist:
Was I deemed registered with ASIC?
If you were deemed registered, you (& your AFSL) should have received written notice from ASIC of your registration. If you did not receive a notice of registration and believe you should have, please contact ASIC at registration@firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Time is not on our side
And I could go on and on
Time is not on our side ”
— The Vamps
Don’t leave your lodgement to the last minute.
Please remember that registration will only take effect once ASIC has updated the FAR.
This will generally happen within one business day of an application for registration, but there’s no guarantees and if the FAR is not updated by 1 February 2024, you cannot lawfully provide personal advice.
Consider how you are going to make your fit and proper declaration in consultation with your AFSL. If you are looking for a solution, please get in touch with us.