ASIC releases updated guide for advisers

The regulator has announced it has updated its RG 175 guide for advisers on conduct and disclosure obligations to better reflect regulatory and legislative changes.

In a statement yesterday, ASIC announced it has updated 'Regulatory Guide 175 Licensing: Financial product advisers ‑ conduct and disclosure'.

ASIC said RG 175 has been updated to better reflect technical amendments to the FOFA reforms that have been made since the previous version of RG 175 was released.

The guide has also been updated to reflect ASIC’s recent changes to the record-keeping class order (CO 14/92), which clarified the details around the record-keeping obligations of financial advisers.

In 2015, ASIC released an instrument to provide guidance and waivers of digital disclosures, which was aimed at helping advisers communicate product and service information to clients digitally. RG 175 has now been updated to better reflect that instrument, ASIC said.

Further, the guide has also been updated to reflect the application of the tax agent services regime in the Tax Agent Services Act 2009, the regulator said.

ASIC cautioned that it is also considering the interpretation of Section 923A of the Corporations Act, particularly in regard to when commissions can be said to be ‘rebated in full’ as well as the restriction of terms such as ‘independently-owned’.

“We will further update RG 175 to provide enhanced guidance on s923A in due course,” the regulator said.

“RG 175 has also been updated to clarify that while the best interests duty and the appropriate advice requirement introduced as part of the FOFA reforms are separate obligations, it is unlikely that advice which fails to meet the best interests duty will be appropriate,” ASIC said.

The updates to RG 175 are generally technical and do not represent substantive policy changes, the regulator said.

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