Verification vital to register’s success: Veda

In order for ASIC's adviser register to be trustworthy, practices will need to verify adviser credentials and ownership information, credit info provider Veda has said.

In a statement, Veda head of wealth Mark Hoven said “robust and reliable verification” was key to the register achieving its aims.

“Verification at the source is important to make this work; the consumer needs confidence that the adviser is who they say they are and that this is independently verified,” he said.

“Any shortcomings will reflect badly on the entire register.”

He pointed to privacy legislation and the financial services industry’s opaque ownership arrangements as a potential barrier to accurate information.

“An additional challenge for businesses to be compliant is the complex licence and ownership structure of the financial advice industry, coupled with Australia’s privacy laws, which require multiple consents from advisers to verify their background across all designated areas,” the statement said.

Mr Hoven suggested the onus has been placed on licensees to provide correct information on their employees and authorised representatives and encouraged practices to take steps to double-check the information.

“Employers have been willing to go to source for bankruptcy or police checks and should adopt the same disciplined approach when checking something as important as professional qualifications or previous employment,” the statement said.

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