Accounting body CPA Australia has provided a crucial update on its much-hyped entry into the financial planning and credit advice markets.
Speaking to Mortgage Business, a CPA spokesperson said the decision to apply for an Australian Credit Licence (ACL) will allow relevant members to provide more comprehensive financial advice services to consumers, including mortgage broking.
“The decision to apply for an Australian Credit Licence is to enable the provision of holistic advice when discussing a client’s financial affairs, which will often include the review of personal debt when assessing cash flow,” the spokesperson said.
“Members who are authorised to provide credit advice will be able to provide mortgage broking services. We envisage such services will be one element of the credit and overall advice offer.”
While the accounting body has already announced it will apply for an ACL with ASIC, these comments are the first indication CPA intends a number of fully-fledged mortgage brokers to operate under its licence and new entity, CPA Australia Advice Pty Ltd.
Asked how mortgage broking services will fit within its pledge to provide “independent financial advice” services as defined in the Corporations Act 2001, the spokesperson said these members will not be exempt from the requirement to refrain from taking commissions.
“All advice and services provided under the ACL will be on a fee-for-service basis,” the spokesperson said.
“If there is a commission payable when a loan is placed, this commission will be rebated to the client – in full.”
Members that are authorised to provide credit advice services may have a competitive advantage over market competitors as they are also qualified as accountants and financial planners, the spokesperson added.
“There are already professional accountants who are licensed to provide valuable advice in regards to mortgage broking and consumer credit services,” the spokesperson said.
“The value of such services is the advice that they provide is underpinned by their broad finance, structuring and tax expertise.”