Looking for help navigating the finance maze? The Financial Advisers Register is a good place to start especially for those who want to work with legit finance professionals.
In 2015, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) launched the Register of Advisers.
The register can help the industry uphold professional standards for financial advisers, but more importantly, it can help you assess the expertise of financial advisers in Australia.
Also, the database lists every adviser, Australia wide, who holds an AFS licence to provide personal advice on investments, superannuation and life insurance.
Why Choose a Licenced Financial Advisor?
Ideally, you should get personal advice from a financial advisor that can look into your specific financial needs and your personal circumstances.
Personal advice is different from general advice because the latter involves general information about money matters and does not take into account your personal needs.
The register requires advisers to list:
- how long they have been an adviser
- Relevant financial products they are licensed to advise on
- If they passed the exam or their qualifications and training
- their employment history as an adviser (from March 2010 onwards)
- memberships of professional bodies
- details of the ownership of the licensee which includes disclosure of any ultimate parent company or any australian business
- any banning orders, disqualifications or enforceable undertakings from standards and ethics authority accepted by ASIC
The information contained in the register will give you a snapshot of an adviser’s credentials and expertise so it’s a good place to start, but there are a few limitations to keep in mind.
- The information on the register is provided by licensees and not verified by ASIC (but they are obliged to ensure that they are authorised representatives and the information about their financial advisers is true and correct).
- An adviser’s place on the register is not a recommendation or endorsement from ASIC. Have a look at ‘Getting good advice‘ for tips on choosing a financial adviser.
- Advisers who have been quietly terminated or ‘moved on’ by employers for questionable practices may not have bans, disqualifications or enforceable undertakings listed against them.
Banned Financial Advisers
The Financial Advisers Register does not include advisers who are disqualified, banned or entered into an enforceable agreement before the register was launched.
If you are looking for banned advisers, you may refer to the Banned or Disqualified Register or Enforceable Undertakings Register both managed by ASIC.
If you cannot find an adviser’s name on the list, ask for their representative number or ABN. If you still can’t find them on the list, beware. They may not be licensed to provide personal advice on investments, superannuation or life insurance.
Remember, a financial adviser who has a proper licence is duly authorised by AFS or is employed by or authorised to represent a financial advisory business that is also accredited with AFS.
Do you have feedback about the financial advisors register?
ASIC connect is encouraging feedback from the public to help them improve the register.
Use MoneySmart’s feedback form to do this.
If you suspect the information posted in the register is not correct or misleading, you may submit an online enquiry form.
Be sure to include important details about the adviser such as name and number and some information about possible misrepresentation.
What are your thoughts?
Do you think the financial advisers register is worthwhile? What experiences have you had with financial advisers? Is there anything else you’d like to know about investing and planning your finances?
Join the conversation — leave a comment below and let us know what your thoughts are.