The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has started consultation on the provision of affordable and limited financial advice.
The corporate regulator stated “Consultation Paper 332 Promoting access to affordable advice for consumers” (CP 332) would seek input from industry participants and relevant stakeholders regarding barriers to the supply of good-quality affordable personal advice and steps that could be taken by ASIC and the industry to improve access to such advice.
Promoting access to quality limited or scaled advice would be a key focus of the paper, ASIC stated as part of its announcement regarding the consultation process.
“We know from previous research that consumers want better access to limited and affordable advice, but that many industry participants find it challenging to provide this type of advice,” ASIC said.
“ASIC is keen to receive feedback on the impediments to providing affordable and limited advice that ASIC and industry are able to address.”
It noted it would also invite feedback regarding potential improvements to example statements of advice in “Regulatory Guide 244 Giving information, general advice and scaled advice” and “Regulatory Guide 90 Example Statement of Advice: Scaled advice for a new client” as part of the consultation.
The deadline for submissions to CP 332 is 18 January 2021, with industry roundtable discussions of the issues raised to be held in the first quarter of next year.
ASIC commissioner Danielle Press said: “Good-quality affordable personal advice may help consumers make better financial decisions, especially during times of heightened vulnerability. We welcome feedback from the financial advice industry and others with an interest in making advice more accessible to consumers.
“Your feedback is vital for us to better understand the impediments on the supply side. It will help us determine what meaningful steps we can take to help industry better provide good-quality affordable advice that meets consumers’ needs.”
Last month, the federal government confirmed its commitment to reducing administrative and operational barriers to allow financial advice to be provided to more Australians more easily.