CPA Australia builds out licensing structure
Nearly a year after announcing it would enter the IFA market, CPA Australia has unveiled its licensing options, which include a $1,760-a-month solution for "comprehensive advisers".
According to its website, CPA Australia said it will offer three levels of licences that are tailored to the types of services advisers provide.
For instance, the level 1, or 'basic authority', option is geared toward advisers with training in financial planning, life and general insurance, superannuation and SMSFs.
The 'strategic authority' option (level 2) is for advisers who also focus on securities, managed investments and margin lending, but excludes making specific product recommendations.
Meanwhile, the 'comprehensive authority' (level 3) enables authorised representatives to provide both strategic and product advice. The cost per month for the level 1 solution is $695, while level 2 costs $1,260 a month and level 3 costs $1,760 a month.
CPA has applied for an AFSL, the website states, and will not process any applications from prospective authorised representatives until it is granted by ASIC.
The accounting body announced in June 2015 that it would launch a financial planning business and provide "pure and transparent fee-for-service" advice to consumers.
"The company we are announcing today will set a new benchmark for professional and ethical conduct in making independent financial advice available to all Australian consumers," CPA said at the time.
"CPA Australia Advice represents a game changer for financial advice in this country."
The announcement was met with both criticism and support.
Also in June last year, former FPA chair John Hewson told ifa that the new entrant was taking advantage of the "current hype-sensitive environment" to further its own interests.
On the other hand, the Independent Financial Advisers Association of Australia (IFAAA) welcomed CPA's move, saying it will have broad benefits for the industry.
"Genuine independence is a very valuable asset for a financial services practice because it's the hallmark of professionalism," IFAAA president Daniel Brammall said last year.
"This quite rightly inspires trust. But with independence comes responsibility."
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