In the wake of the Royal Commission there has been a trend towards self-licensing in the financial services space. Insurers are now looking upon these independent self-licensed Insureds more favourably than those affiliated to a dealer group because of the perceived conflict of interest issues associated with vertically integrated business models.
A follow-on effect of this independence has been an increase in AFSL applications, and with these applications greater licencing scrutiny post the Royal Commission landscape. The review has essentially resulted in a raising of the bar for minimum standards, with less than half of these applications now being approved.
Over the same period a greater proportion of AFSLs and ACLs were cancelled at the initiation of ASIC. Insurers have welcomed this tougher regulatory approach given the more stringent hurdles these new independent licence holders need to go through. In addition to this, accounts with a strict fee for service remuneration structure with minimal exposure to grand fathered trail commissions have been a welcome addition to most insurer portfolios.