Morgans Financial is now able to operate as a normal advice licensee after it implemented recommendations as a result of additional ASIC conditions imposed on it.
On 19 March, ASIC said it removed the conditions imposed on Morgans in November 2016 when it met the requirements of an independent consultant in six areas: risk management and compliance, document and record management, branch supervision, advice, corporate, and additional specific areas.
Morgans was required to appoint an independent compliance consultant to monitor, evaluate and report on its implementation of the recommendations.
After the consultant found that Morgans had adequately designed and implemented responses to the recommendations, ASIC removed the conditions imposed.
Regarding Morgans’ provision of advice, consultants Compliance One “urged greater focus on adviser understanding and application of the distinction between personal financial product advice and general advice”, and on “effective monitoring of the provision of general advice”.
In the first review period from 1 June 2016 to 31 October 2016, it was noted that Morgans engaged an external facilitator to deliver network-wide training on the personal advice/general advice distinction.
In the second review period from 1 November 2016 to 28 February 2017, Morgans introduced stricter controls around account opening.
This was coupled with closer compliance oversight and imposing meaningful consequences for advisers where the requirements were not met.
In the third review period from 1 March 2017 to 31 July 2017, Compliance One assessed Morgans’ impact of network-wide training delivered by external experts on financial product advice.
“The training has had a positive impact on advisers and branches in their understanding of, and attitudes towards the provision of advice,” the report said.
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