Investing and financial advice

Find out how ASIC regulates financial services, how to search our financial advisers register and resolve any problems you might have with your investments or your adviser.

How ASIC regulates financial products and services

ASIC regulates Australian companies, financial markets, financial services organisations and professionals who deal and advise in investments.

As the financial services regulator, we license and monitor financial services businesses to ensure that they operate efficiently, honestly and fairly. These businesses typically deal in superannuation, managed funds, shares and company securities, derivatives and insurance.

As the markets regulator, we assess how effectively authorised financial markets are complying with their legal obligations to operate fair, orderly and transparent markets. We also supervise trading on Australia’s domestic licensed equity, derivatives and futures markets.

We investigate suspected breaches of the law, issue infringement notices, ban people from providing financial services, seek civil penalties from the courts and undertake prosecutions.

Choosing investments and getting financial advice

ASIC regulates investment providers, advisers and products, and through our MoneySmart website, provides guidance how to choose a financial adviser and what services a financial adviser should be offering.

You can also search the financial advisers register to find out where an adviser has worked, their qualifications, training, memberships of professional bodies and what products they can advise on.

Checking an investment offer

Any company that provides investments must hold an Australian financial services (AFS) licence. This licence controls the kinds of investments and credit products they can offer and whether they can operate legally in Australia. ASIC issues AFS licences, after assessing each application, and may cancel an AFS licence if the licence-holder fails to meet prescribed standards. Check ASIC Connect’s Professional Registers to find out if the company holds an AFS licence.

Warnings and investment scams

You can also check our list of companies you should not deal with that have contacted Australians with unsolicited offers of unlicensed investments. If a company contacts you from this list, do not deal with them.

ASIC also issues warnings to the public about websites or investment products that make false, misleading or deceptive statements about financial services. These warnings are issued after ASIC receives complaints from investors.

Managed investment schemes

Managed investment schemes with more than 20 members must be registered with ASIC. You can check ASIC Connect’s ‘organisation and business names search' to see if the scheme is registered.

All listed managed investment schemes must lodge a product disclosure statement (PDS) with ASIC. You can check they have done so on ASIC's OFFERlist database.

Check a PDS or prospectus

If the company you want to invest with provides a product disclosure statement (PDS) or prospectus, read these documents to make an informed decision about the investment. You can check whether the PDS or prospectus has been lodged with ASIC on our OFFERlist database.

Got a problem with your financial adviser or investments?

ASIC does not settle disputes about financial services or advice, but if there is evidence that a financial services provider has acted illegally we may consider taking action. Find out how to report misconduct to ASIC.

ASIC’s MoneySmart website explains what to do if you have concerns about the financial advice you have been given, how to complain about a financial adviser and what to do if ASIC has banned your financial adviser. See problems with a financial adviser for more details.

Our MoneySmart website also has some helpful tips on what to do if you are having problems with your investments

Last updated: 16/04/2019 04:42