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NIBA hails brokers’ exclusion from adviser register

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National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) CEO Dallas Booth has welcomed the exemption of most general insurance brokers from the new financial adviser register.

“We are delighted – this is a good outcome for members,” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“We certainly didn’t want general insurance brokers burdened with unnecessary compliance and regulatory requirements, and we give credit to the Government for recognising our concerns.”

Mr Booth says the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) register aims to improve the standard of financial advice and ensure consumers can make informed decisions when choosing financial advisers.

NIBA has argued that in most cases it is not necessary to include general insurance brokers.

“We have been pointing out to the Government that issues and concerns about financial advice in certain sectors of the financial system were not occurring in the general insurance sector.”

The first stage of the register became operational on March 31. It contains details of advisers employed or authorised – directly or indirectly – by financial services licensees to provide personal financial advice to retail clients on investments, superannuation and life insurance.

Initially, any individual authorised to advise on Tier 1 products was required to register. This would have “swept up the majority of general insurance brokers”, Mr Booth says.

Some products have now been excluded, ensuring brokers are not inadvertently required to register.

NIBA’s legal adviser Mark Radford says the register will not apply to brokers authorised to provide personal advice on general insurance products and consumer credit insurance (general or life).

However, it still applies to brokers authorised to give personal advice on life insurance products other than consumer credit cover.

“Licensees will need to check the authorisation of their financial advisers to ensure they are complying with the requirements of the financial adviser register,” Mr Radford said.

ASIC will now focus on implementing the second phase of the register, capturing details of financial advisers’ qualifications, training and professional memberships.