ASIC releases new guidance for limited financial services licencees

ASIC has released new guidance to help limited Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) holders, and their authorised representatives, understand their obligations.

ASIC says the guidance covers the main issues that limited licensees requested, and follows from the regulators visits to 20 limited licensed firms in 2016/17. According to ASIC 787 limited AFSLs had been granted as of 30 June 2017.

The guidance is published in either ASIC information sheets or on the ASIC website, and covers:

  • who is a limited AFS licensee and a representative of a limited AFS licensee
  • the activities that limited AFS licensees can undertake – Information Sheet 227 What can limited AFS licensees do? (INFO 227)
  • the conduct and disclosure obligations that apply to limited AFS licensees when they give advice – Information Sheet 228 Limited AFS licensees: Advice conduct and disclosure obligations when providing advice under a limited AFS licence (INFO 228)
  • what limited AFS licensees need to do on an ongoing basis – Information Sheet 229 Limited AFS licensees: Complying with your licensing obligations (INFO 229).

“This material has been tailored specifically for limited AFS licensees, drawing the most relevant information from existing ASIC guidance,” said ASIC.

“To further support limited AFS licensees, ASIC has also produced a quick guide summarising the key obligations that apply when they give advice. The purpose of this guide is to provide quick glance reminders for new licence holders. ASIC encourages limited AFS licensees and their representatives to download, keep and refer to this resource as they build up their businesses in giving financial advice.”

The guidance, while useful, has been criticised as not being detailed or helpful enough for accountants.

ASIC consulted with CPA Australia and CAANZ in developing the guidance.

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