The corporate regulator has put additional conditions on the Australian Financial Services Licence of AMP Financial Planning.
The conditions were imposed when ASIC granted AMP Financial Planning’s (AMPFP) application to vary its licence to provide managed discretionary account (MDA) services, and follows a surveillance of AMPFP’s MDA services and advice business, ASIC said in a statement.
The ASIC surveillance involved on-site interviews with AMPFP compliance personnel about processes and systems, and with the advisers who provide MDA services and advice. It also included reviews of AMPFP’s documented processes and systems, its client advice files and adviser audit files.
ASIC said it imposed additional licence conditions on AMPFP to ensure that AMPFP had adequate arrangements in place to comply with obligations related to the provision of MDA services.
It noted that MDAs create particular risks for retail clients because when a client enters into a contract with an MDA provider, they give the provider authority to make investment decisions on their behalf on an ongoing basis without seeking the client’s prior approval.
The additional conditions were tailored to AMPFP in response to observations from ASIC’s surveillance. The conditions were put in place to ensure that AMPFP adequately monitors and supervises the MDA services provided by its advisers, and that its advisers are adequately trained and meet their best interests obligations, ASIC said.
The conditions also seek to ensure that when providing MDA services AMPFP has the necessary human, financial and technological resources, as well as the risk management and internal dispute resolution systems and maintains adequate records.
ASIC commissioner Danielle Press said the regulator expects to see improvements in the standards of supervision, conduct and compliance across the financial advice industry, and the imposition of additional licence conditions is part of ongoing efforts to make its expectations clear to AFS licensees.
“ASIC will impose licence conditions based on what an applicant is seeking authorisation for, what we know of them, and what we may see during the application assessment process,” Ms Press said.
“New licence applicants and licensees seeking variations can expect to see ASIC tailor licence conditions more often.”
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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