The FPA has responded to scrutiny around its call for reform of the AFSL system, with the body buckling down on its motion for individual registration.
The suggested policy change, which proposed financial advice regulation should occur through individual registration and oversight, rather than through AFSLs, was one of 19 recommendations the FPA made for policy reform in its five-year horizon plan.
However rival industry bodies AFA and AIOFP raised doubts around the timing of the FPA’s advocacy, saying the change would be disruptive to practices already dealing with immense regulatory transformation.
FPA chief executive Dante De Gori said individual registration is an “innovative concept for financial planning but not for other professions”, adding licensees continue to play a crucial role in developing, training, educating and supporting advisers.
The body has said that the need for licensees will continue under the proposed move, to provide business development services, technology, education and many other services to give value to financial planning services.
“Removing the AFSL requirement for financial planners won’t change this,” Mr De Gori said.
“The AFSL does not make the planner, just as the hospital does not make the doctor, nor the law firm the lawyer. Individual financial planners are the ones who provide financial advice and the regulatory system should focus directly on their professional qualifications and behaviour.”
Mr De Gori stated the body has targeted lowering the cost of advice and making it more accessible by reducing regulatory duplication.
“[Individual registration] should not be confused with self-licensing or individual licensing under the existing AFSL system, which would still result in a duplication of regulation and unnecessary costs for financial planners,” he said.
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