ASIC has issued accountants a stern warning ahead of the new licensing regime, reminding practitioners that providing unlicensed financial services is a criminal offence.
ASIC issues stern warning to accountants
The regulator has released a statement warning accountants to ensure they comply with the new financial services licensing regime before the 30 June deadline.
On 25 August 2015, ASIC issued a media release warning accountants wishing to apply for a limited AFS licence that failure to lodge applications in line with ASIC’s requirements by 1 March 2016 would result in a significant risk that their application would not be assessed and approved by 30 June 2016.
Yesterday ASIC said it is now writing to applicants for limited AFS licences who have applied since 1 March 2016 advising them that they should prepare for the contingency that their applications might not be assessed and approved by ASIC by 30 June.
In cases where ASIC has received an application but has not granted a licence by then, the regulator warned the applicant will not be able to provide SMSF-related financial advice and dealing services.
"They will not be able to give such advice until they are granted a licence or they become an authorised representative of a licensee."
ASIC senior executive leader, assessment and intelligence, Warren Day reminded accountants that after 30 June 2016, any accountant found to be providing unlicensed advice risked regulatory action.
"Providing unlicensed financial services is a criminal offence," Mr Day said.
Accountants who intend to get their application to ASIC before 30 June should be aware that only complete applications will be accepted for lodgement.
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