Govt welcomes new ASIC relief measures

ASIC relief measures

New temporary relief measures from ASIC to assist the financial advice industry during the COVID-19 pandemic have been welcomed by the government.

Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology Jane Hume has welcomed the temporary relief measures announced by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) yesterday.

Following ASIC’s announcement of relief measures to assist the financial advice industry during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, Hume said the measures would help practitioners provide Australian consumers with trusted financial advice.

“I welcome ASIC’s announcement: it is more important than ever for Australian consumers to get sound advice on how to manage their financial affairs,” she said.

“These measures will help ensure all Australians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can quickly access the financial advice they need.”

The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) also welcomed ASIC’s announcement and highlighted the need for practical measures to work through the economic impact of the coronavirus.

“Now, more than ever, Australians need access to quality financial advice. However, given the rapidly changing circumstances, it needs to be timely, relevant and succinct,” AFA chief executive Philip Kewin said.

“We welcome these announcements and acknowledge the work that ASIC has done. These are significant first steps to ensuring more people will gain the necessary advice to make significant and important financial decisions.”

As part of its relief measures assisting the financial advice industry, ASIC said financial advisers would not be required to provide a statement of advice when providing financial advice on early access to superannuation.

In addition, the regulator said it would permit registered tax agents to give advice to existing clients about early access to superannuation without needing to hold an Australian financial services licence.

Yesterday, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, the SMSF Association, CPA Australia, the Institute of Public Accountants and the Financial Planning Association revealed they had worked together and in conjunction with ASIC to make the provision of financial advice relating to the COVID-19 financial relief measures easier.

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