The government has postponed for six months a requirement for financial advisers to register with ASIC. The new registration requirement is separate to the existing requirement for an AFS licensee to appoint a financial adviser that they authorise to ASIC’s Financial Adviser Register.

The law required that all financial advisers who provide personal advice to retail clients be registered by 1 January 2023, which has now been pushed back six months to 1 July 2023.

The change was part of the Better Advice Bill, in line with recommendation 2.10 of the Hayne Royal Commission.

In a media statement, financial services minister Stephen Jones said the change was implemented to give full effect to the new disciplinary system for financial advisers, allowing the cancellation of registration for serious misconduct.

Registration was proposed to occur in two stages – stage one being a one‑off registration process administered by ASIC using the Financial Advisers Register (FAR) which advisers registered with the Tax Practitioners Board, and the second stage which would commence once the FAR transitions to the ATO as part of the Australian Business Registry Service.

The minister said ASIC has been engaging closely with industry about how best to implement stage one, with a view to ensuring the obligation on licensees to register financial advisers operates as efficiently as possible.

“Delaying the requirement for financial advisers to be registered until 1 July 2023 will allow these improvements to be implemented,” Jones said. “The registration obligation in stage one will remain with licensees.”

ASIC previously announced that registration would be available through ASIC Connect from October 2022, but in light of the minister’s announcement the portal will not be open for registration.

In a separate update, ASIC said it now expects AFS licensees will be able to register their financial advisers via the ASIC Connect portal in the second quarter of 2023.

ASIC will also publish guidance in advance of the ASIC Connect portal opening for registration, which will include webinars to help the industry comply to the new requirements.