The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has reminded financial advisers who are licensed or authorised to act under an Australian financial services (AFS) licence and who are currently authorised, to make sure that they are included on ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register by no later than 31 December 2018, before new professional standards requirements take effect. This register does not record those who act under an Australian credit licence unless they also act under an AFS licence.

Professional standards reforms for financial advisers were introduced in March 2017 to raise the education, training and ethical standards of people providing personal advice to retail clients on more complex financial products. The new requirements will be implemented progressively from 1 January 2019.

Under the reforms, only financial advisers who were authorised at any time between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019, and who are not prohibited from providing advice on 1 January 2019, will be recognised as an 'existing provider'. Authorised financial advisers should speak to their AFS licensees to ensure that they are on the Register before the deadline.

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