The corporate regulator has updated its public register of financial advisers, including education and professional association membership for the first time.
Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed the update yesterday, describing the move as a “strong step in the right direction” and hailing it as a symbol of the government’s “ongoing commitment” to raising professional standards in advice.
The statement from Mr Frydenberg also revealed there are currently over 22,500 advisers listed on the register, and it has received more than 60,000 visits since its launch.
The register includes insurance brokers, accountants and stockbrokers licensed to provide advice as well as financial planners, the statement said.
ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell issued a statement pointing to the consumer benefits.
“From today consumers will be able to see the qualifications and professional memberships in addition to the basic information about advisers already available on the register. We want consumers to be able to make an informed decision in their choice of adviser and the register is a good starting point,” he said.
Mark Spiers, head of advice at Westpac-owned BT Financial Group, also welcomed the move, saying it would improve professionalism and transparency in the sector.
However, the National Seniors lobby group issued a warning to consumers complaining that the government’s changes did not go far enough.