The corporate regulator has outlined changes to disclosure of advice fees and costs for managed investment schemes and superannuation.
In a consultation paper, ASIC proposed updating Regulatory Guide 97 Disclosing fees and costs in PDSs and periodic statements, as well as draft amendments to Schedule 10 of the Corporations Regulations.
It proposed modifying the ‘fees and costs template’ for superannuation products by removing advice fees (intrafund advice costs) as a line item, and include this cost in the disclosure of administration fees.
ASIC said it will insert a definition of intrafund advice costs into clause 101 of Schedule 10 to give effect to the change.
It justified the change by saying the advice fee in the superannuation product ‘fees and costs template’ relates to a very specific type of financial product advice (intrafund advice costs) rather than personal advice, and that this meaning would be unclear and potentially confusing to a casual reader.
It also observed that in product disclosure statements this item is frequently shown as nil, which results in the line item being given undue prominence.
“We agree with these observations and believe that removing intrafund advice costs as a line item from the ‘fees and costs template’ will simplify the information provided to consumers, which may improve consumers’ understanding of the fees and costs they will be charged for their investment and therefore assist consumer decision making,” ASIC said.
“Including intrafund advice costs as part of the new administration fees and costs line item ensures that these costs are still captured as part of fees and costs disclosure.”
Further, ASIC expressed concerns about how to factor fees and costs disclosure information into their advice to clients.
The corporate regulator said it is important that advisers understand how to use fees and costs disclosure information when preparing financial product advice for their clients.
“If the fees and costs information about a product in a statement of advice is not accurate or is incomplete, it may affect the consumer’s ability to compare products and make informed value for money decisions,” ASIC said.
Adrian Flores is a deputy editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.
You can contact him on [email protected].
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