Accountants currently operate under an Australian financial services licence (AFSL) exemption, enabling them to advise on self-managed super funds (SMSF).
The exemption is to expire on July 1 2016 but accountants can apply for AFSLs from next July 1.
They can then give product advice on SMSFs and members’ existing holdings in super funds. Products they can advise on include general and life insurance products.
National Insurance Brokers Association CEO Dallas Booth says there are concerns about accountants’ ability to give such advice.
“For us, it is a question of a level playing field when it comes to the legislation,” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au. “If accountants are to sell general insurance products, they must meet the requirements of being an insurance broker.”
The draft legislation requires accountants applying for AFSLs to complete a knowledge update within three years of the licence being granted.
It will create a significant opportunity for up to 10,000 accountants, according to Financial Services Minister Bill Shorten.
“This new licence means licensed practitioners will advise on a wider range of alternatives, rather than limiting their advice to the establishment of an SMSF,” he said.
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