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ASIC acts on AR double-ups

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has revoked financial service licensee authorisations in 58 cases where duplications have breached the law and created risks for clients.

A financial services licensee cannot be the authorised representative of another licence-holder unless they are an underwriting agent or operating under a binder given by an insurer.

Double-ups may lead to licensees not having the right compliance measures in place, the regulator warns.

Examples include not maintaining professional indemnity insurance or membership of an external dispute resolution scheme because of a mistaken belief they are covered under the authorised representative arrangement.

“The licensee providing advice as an authorised representative will not have access to their licensee’s professional indemnity and external dispute resolution scheme,” ASIC says. “This poses an unacceptable risk to their clients.”

Licensees are expected to check professional registers to ensure they do not authorise a person or entity that already has a licence, the regulator says.

People wanting to become authorised representatives should also ensure they give up any licence or take necessary steps so they do not breach the law.

ASIC examined 65 cases as part of its investigation.