Accounting body CPA Australia has received around 600 expressions of interest from members seeking to join its new financial planning business.
On Friday 5 June CPA Australia chief executive Alex Malley and ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft jointly launched CPA Australia Advice Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CPA Australia.
Over the past seven days, around 600 CPA Australia members have registered formal expressions of interest in the company.
The global accounting body has also received a volume of general enquiries from both CPA members and non-members.
In order to be licensed under CPA Australia, advisers must be a CPA, a move which the body said would “address issues in the market now, but also encourage new entrants”.
CPA Australia also said it would “ensure all licensed advisers have the same strong education and professional backgrounds fundamental to providing quality advice”.
Mr Malley said that currently, 15 per cent of CPA Australia members (who total around 150,000) provide financial advice under a number of licensees, but extending the CPA Australia brand would further strengthen their presence.
“Some of those CPAs will be providing advice under other licensees and this is simply an alternative that young people coming into the sector will see as an impressive benchmark and will be given the option of being under the CPA banner,” Mr Malley said at the launch.
The company, which is expected to be operational by 1 July 2016, plans to provide advice that is free of commissions, offering it on a fee-for-service basis.
“CPA Australia Advice represents a game changer for financial advice in this country,” Mr Malley said.
“The operation of CPA Australia Advice will be consistent with Section 923A of the Corporations Act 2001, which allows us to use terms like ‘independent’, ‘impartial’ and unbiased’.”
Launching the venture, Mr Medcraft said CPA Advice Australia is the “right nudge” and will provide quality, better access to advice, choice and competition for consumers.
“When you quote a section of the Corporations Act and you are able to call yourself independent by the law, you are sending a very definitive message to the public,” he said.
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