Check a financial adviser

Licence checks

Before you engage a financial adviser, you should check them out just to be sure. ASIC's databases will tell you if the adviser is licensed to sell you certain financial products or provide you with financial advice.

Here are some questions to ask an adviser, and descriptions of what information is available on ASIC's financial advisers register.

Questions to ask

Smart tip

You can check on a business or adviser even if you haven't made contact with them yet.

Any business or person that offers or advises you about financial products must be an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence holder. They can be licensed personally, as a director or employee of an AFS licence holder, or as an authorised representative of an AFS licence holder. An AFS licence offers you some protection if something goes wrong. Find out what an AFS Licence means.

Ask the financial adviser: 'What is your representative number and who holds your AFS licence?'

Keep a record of the name and number the adviser gives you so you can check it on ASIC's financial advisers register.

Financial advisers register

The register tells you:

  • the adviser's qualifications, experience and employment history
  • what product areas the adviser can provide advice about (check that these are the areas you're looking for)
  • whether the adviser is a member of any professional bodies or industry associations that are relevant to providing financial services
  • whether the adviser has been the subject of disciplinary action by ASIC
  • the name and number of the Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence holder who employs or authorises the financial adviser to provide advice
  • details about who owns or controls the licence holder.

If they are not licensed, do not deal with them. They are breaking the law and you will have little protection if things go wrong.

See choosing a financial adviser for more information.

Check an AFS licence holder

If they say that they hold an AFS licence, check the company name and AFS licence number on ASIC Connect's Professional Registers.

Related links


Last updated: 03 Sep 2015