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ASIC portal fails on reporting unlicensed advice

Mike Taylor1 September 2023
Practicing without a license

Financial advisers who want to report to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) about instances of people providing unlicensed advice cannot do it through the regulator’s portal because it does not provide the necessary mechanism.

As well, while the Financial Advice Association of Australia (FAAA) has quarterly meetings with ASIC’s advice team, it has no similar access to the regulator’s enforcement team which might allow it to notify ASIC of instances of unlicensed advice or misconduct.

Those represent two pieces of evidence provided to the Senate Economics References Committee reviewing ASIC’s performance, with the Hansard transcript of a recent hearing revealing the frustration advisers encounter with respect to reporting unlicensed advice.

The FAAA’s Senior Policy Manager, Heather McEvoy said the ASIC portal simply didn’t let advisers report unlicensed advice.

“…they do it through the portal and if it is about an unlicensed representative or an unlicensed provider it doesn’t let them do it because the portal makes you link to a person registered on the file or an entity that is licensed,” she said.

“If you are talking about an unlicensed person, it won’t let you register it. So you have to go back through the general complaints area. It kind of gets dumped into this bucket. Our members find that frustrating because they are at the fore with their expertise and seeing where things are,” McEvoy said.

At the same hearing, FAAA chief executive, Sarah Abood said that while her organisation had quarterly meetings with agendas with the ASIC financial advice team, it had no similar access to the enforcement team.

“We have a quarterly meeting with agendas and so on where we go through matters that we are seeing emerging in the profession, where we have an opportunity to ask questions of the ASIC team. They also ask us questions about what we’re seeing happening in the profession. That team has also been very supportive, for example, in providing speakers for events for our members and so on. So that engagement, I think you could say, is quite strong.”

“But we don’t have engagement with the enforcement team. We don’t have any insight into what is happening there or when reports are made, how they are being treated, triaged or prioritised in that team,” Abood said.

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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5 months ago

ASIC’s primary focus is adviser persecution, not consumer protection. No surprise that their systems and processes are aligned with that.

Corrupt, Misguided ASIC
5 months ago

ASIC yet again show they have no interest in stopping unlicensed Advice.
ASIC = Arrogant, Secretive, Incompetent & Corrupt

5 months ago

If it was easy to report unlicensed advice ASIC would actually have to do some work. Of course they don’t want the reports they are lazy, incompetent, biased and not interested in consumer protection.

Tired Adviser
5 months ago

Why Make it easy for Advisers to report!!! We are at the coalface, and it is in our interest to report this.
But hey having dealt with ASIC on several occasion on this very topic. ASIC’s indifference to enforcement when it comes to unlicensed individuals is epic. Even chasing terminated advisers for Systemic Breaches seem too hard for them.

5 months ago

I report unlicensed advice all the time. It goes under financial advice with a reference to them being unlicensed. Then I get the benefit of ASIC charging me for doing nothing and ignoring the unlicensed advice.