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June 25, 2012

Licensing of accountants for financial advice

The Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation Bill Shorten has announced a new form of financial advice licence for accountants and financial advisers.

The new limited Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) is expected to see up to 10,000 accountants become licensed and will replace their current financial services licensing exemption.

In addition to being able to advise on self-managed superannuation (SMSF) funds and superannuation generally, licence holders will be able to give "class of product advice" on basic deposit products, general and life insurance, securities, and simple managed investment schemes.

The new licence will not allow specific product recommendations but is designed to enable accountants and any financial advisers who may hold this licence to provide more strategic and low-cost forms of financial advice.

A streamlined transition period that will be available for accountants between 1 July 2013 and 1 July 2016.

There will be public consultation on draft regulations to give effect to these measures in the second half of 2012.

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Posted 25th June 2012 by David Jacobson in Corporations Act, Financial Services, Future of Financial Advice Reforms