ASIC has launched the second stage of its Financial Advisers Register (FAR) which now includes information about advisers’ qualifications, training and memberships of professional bodies.

The register, which has been available to the public since the end of March this year, contains the details of 23,000 financial advisers.

The information includes details of people employed or authorised – directly or indirectly - by Australian financial services (AFS) licensees to provide personal financial advice to retail clients on investments, superannuation and life insurance.

“From today consumers will be able to see the qualifications and professional memberships in addition to the basic information about advisers already available on the register,” ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said.

“We want consumers to be able to make an informed decision in their choice of adviser and the register is a good starting point.”

The database can be searched on ASIC’s MoneySmart website.

ASIC has also given access to the data from the Financial Advisers Register to the Australian Government Data website.

From here, the information can be downloaded free of charge, and used to enable easy and quick analysis of the financial advice industry.

The timeline for transition to the new register ends in September 2015, meaning that from 1 October 2015, late fee penalties will apply.

The regulator has also warned that it will take action on any advisers who provide false or misleading statements to the register.