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ASIC releases guidelines on client remediation programs

ASIC has released a consultation paper proposing guidance for AFSLs on how to run review and remediation programs.

In a statement, the regulator said the consultation paper sets out how an effective review and remediation program should be designed and operated and how such a program operates alongside other key consumer compensation obligations, namely the internal and external dispute resolution obligations.

These guidelines include when to establish a review and remediation program, determining the scope, designing a "comprehensive and effective" program, communicating effectively with clients and ensuring access to the external review of decisions.

The paper also proposes amendments to the general record-keeping requirements for AFSLs to place "beyond doubt" that licensees must have access to records for a period of time, even if those records are held by someone outside the licensee.

The move to push this reform comes after ASIC identified that in some cases, client remediation would be better facilitated with clearer record-keeping.

"ASIC wants to ensure that all review and remediation programs conducted by advice licensees operate in a way that is fair, honest and efficient and that all potentially affected consumers have access to remediation," said ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell.

"Consumers should have trust and confidence that a program will produce fair and consistent outcomes."


ASIC announced in May 2015 that it would develop regulatory guidance on licensees conducting review programs. The deadline for comments on the consultation paper is 26 January 2016.