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19 June 2013
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is seeking licensees and industry associations to conduct consumer tests on statements of advice (SOA).
In its new regulatory guidelines on conduct and disclosure, ASIC wants guides on SOAs to ensure they are “clear, concise and effective”.
The testing will also determine if more information is needed in SOAs.
Under the new guidelines, underwriters must be careful how information provided to brokers is used.
If a broker asks an underwriter for products to suit a client’s insurance needs, and that information is passed to the customer, the insurer will have to produce a financial services guide (FSG). The broker will be required to pass this to the client.
But underwriters have an escape clause: if the information is not attributed to them, no FSG will be required.
ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft says the guidelines are a response to the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms passed by Parliament.
“FOFA contains significant reforms intended to bring about real changes in the way financial advice is provided,” he said.
“These measures aim to improve the standard of adviser conduct and improve engagement by retail clients with advisers and advice.”
The regulator has also issued consultative papers on best interests duty and scaled advice for advisers and brokers.
Submissions on these papers must be made by September 20.
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