27 Aug 2014

ASIC has called on the financial services industry to make the distinction between independent and restricted advice.

In its second submission to the 2014 Financial System Inquiry, the Government’s financial services regulator has made a raft of recommendations, including one based on the argument that consumers are regularly under the impression that ‘… they are dealing with an independent advice business when in fact the business is related to or owned by a product manufacturer.’

Consumers are regularly under the impression that ‘… they are dealing with an independent advice business when in fact the business is related to or owned by a product manufacturer
ASIC makes two recommendations that take the form of future requirements for advisers licensed under dealer groups owned by product manufacturers, when dealing with their clients:

The inclusion of a prominent, simple statement about the relationship of the adviser to the issuer and the limited range of products the adviser is able to recommend
That the advice business that is tied to an issuer calls itself a ‘restricted advice’ business
In a poll conducted by riskinfo earlier this year, advisers overwhelmingly supported the notion that consumers should be alerted to whether the advice they were receiving was from an ‘aligned’ or ‘non-aligned’ perspective (click here for more details).

If these recommendations are adopted, it will create a greater distinction between vertically integrated and independent licensee groups within the mind of the consumer.

The call for advisers to identify whether their advice was ‘restricted’ was one of a broad range of recommendations made by ASIC.

This article was published online in riskinfo.

To talk to someone not owned, or dictated to by product manufacturers, give us a call at VISIS on (07) 3231 4004.

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