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ASIC may abolish limited AFSLs, predicts consultant

ASIC may abolish limited AFSLs due to their implementation issues, scarce take-up in the industry and the minimal benefits they provide, a consultancy firm has said.

There has been minimal interest in limited licensing by accounting firms and those who have applied for the licence are still confused as to what constitutes financial advice or when a statement of advice is required, according to Sarah Penn, the director of financial services consulting firm Mayflower Consulting.

“I do wonder whether ASIC in the next five years or so will actually remove the limited licence altogether because the take-up has been marginal and there’s been so many implementation issues with it in terms of how you operate under a limited licence,” Ms Penn said.

As with other types of new legislation, there have been many “teething issues” with the limited licensing regime.

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“This would be fine if it was an industry-wide thing and everyone had this new licence, [because] ASIC and industry would then have to figure out how to make it work, but there’s only a few hundred licences out there,” Ms Penn said.

“I don’t think anyone at a policy level has the interest or the time to try and figure out all these teething issues, and really, there’s not very much advantage of a limited licence over a full licence.”

Ms Penn said the limited licence has failed to add any real value to the industry and resulted in “headaches instead”.

“I don’t think there’ll be much work done on it and they’ll either die a natural death or at some point someone at ASIC will turn around and say, ‘This is just causing everyone more work for no added benefit’,” she said.

ASIC may abolish limited AFSLs, predicts consultant
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