Joint accounting body CPA Australia will apply for an Australian Credit Licence in a bid to “shake up” the financial services sector.
At a launch event attended by ASIC chair Greg Medcraft on Friday, CPA announced it is commencing the process to obtain an Australian Credit Licence (ACL), permitting the organisation to provide “credit advice and services to consumers such as mortgage broking advice”.
The intended ACL will be associated with a new business, CPA Australia Advice Pty Ltd, which CPA chief executive Alex Malley expects will be operational by 1 July 2016.
The new business will also seek an Australian Financial Services Licence to provide financial advice to consumers that meets the Corporations Act’s definition of “independent financial advice”, meaning no commissions or “other hidden incentives”.
Importantly, only CPA members will be eligible to join the new subsidiary, meaning mortgage brokers and financial planners who are not also public accountants are likely to be left out, according to a statement to members on the CPA website.
Mr Malley said the new venture intends to “shake up” the financial services industry and restore public confidence in financial advice services.
“As an organisation committed to the public interest, and approaching our 130th year, the CPA Australia Board has made the unanimous decision to take action and offer a solution,” Mr Malley said.
“The company we are announcing today will set a new benchmark for professional and ethical conduct in making independent financial advice available to all Australian consumers. CPA Australia Advice represents a game changer for financial advice in this country.”