ASIC has imposed additional conditions on the licence of a Sydney-based firm after it found it was not adequately monitoring and supervising its representatives and that its audit processes were deficient.
An initial surveillance of one of HNW Planning’s authorised representatives led to a broader surveillance of HNW, ASIC said in a statement.
Following the broader surveillance, ASIC concluded that HNW did not have adequate monitoring and supervision processes in place to identify non-compliance by its authorised representatives or to ensure that they complied with the best interests duty and related obligations.
The additional licence conditions imposed by ASIC require HNW to engage an independent expert to make recommendations on how to improve HNW’s monitoring and supervision processes.
The corporate regulator said the independent expert will then test and report on the effectiveness of the improvements made by HNW.
“AFS licensees are responsible for the conduct of their representatives, and ASIC expects licensees to have effective monitoring and supervision arrangements in place to ensure that their representatives comply with the law when providing financial product advice to consumers,” ASIC said.
“In particular, ASIC expects advice licensees to have robust audit processes in place. They should conduct sufficient periodic audits of all advisers, involving reviews of complete advice files, and use suitably qualified and trained staff to conduct these audits.”
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