July 24, 2024
ASIC’s January activity hints at increased enforcement action


ASIC has updated some documentation in line with the DBFO Act receiving royal assent with licensees reminded to stay up on top of the changes.

In a statement on 11 July, the corporate regulator acknowledged the royal assent of the Treasury Laws Amendments (Delivering Better Financial Outcomes and Other Measures) Act 2024 (DBFO Act), noting that this marks “an important step in advancing reforms to financial advice regulation”.

This had passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives on 4 July.

“Industry should be aware of the reforms, including transitional periods if applicable, and have, or be in the process of updating, systems and processes as required,” ASIC said in a statement.

The DBFO Act acknowledged the government’s response to recommendations 7, 8, 10, 13.1–13.5 and 13.7–13.9 of the Quality of Advice Review.

Reforms under the Act include:

  • Clarifying the legal basis in the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 for superannuation trustees to charge individual members for financial advice from their superannuation account, and clarifying associated tax consequences under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997
  • Streamlining ongoing fee renewal and consent requirements, including removing the requirement to provide a fee disclosure statement,
  • Providing more flexibility in how Financial Services Guide (FSG) requirements can be met
  • Simplifying and clarifying the provisions governing conflicted remuneration, and
  • Introducing new standardised consent requirements for life risk insurance, general insurance and consumer credit insurance commissions.

ASIC noted that it has registered ASIC Corporations (Amendment) Instrument 2024/554 which makes consequential amendments to its instruments to reflect the changes to FSG requirements. Moreover, the regulator has amended condition 52 of Pro Forma 209 Australian financial services licence conditions (PF 209) to ensure technology neutrality in FSG record keeping requirements.

Changes to PF 209 will apply only to entities applying for an Australian financial services licence going forward, it said.

Over the coming months, ASIC noted it will update regulatory guidance impacted by the DBFO Act.

 



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