Industry fund pays infringement notice for misleading ‘independent advice’ message

Hostplus has paid an infringement notice penalty issued by ASIC and has removed the word independent from its recorded telephone messages.

The $12,600 infringement notice related to an alleged misleading claim about offering ‘independent advice’ in a recorded telephone message on HostPlus’ main consumer telephone number.

From at least July 2016 to late March 2018, the recorded telephone message referred to a free consultation available to members with an Industry Fund Services Limited licensed financial planner.

It then referred to the advice as independent, which was investigated by ASIC as to if the message contained a misleading representation that the advice service was independent.

ASIC was concerned that Hostplus and IFS were not independent of each other because Hostplus employees were appointed as authorised representatives to provide financial advice under IFS’ Australian financial services licence.

Hostplus also paid service fees to IFS for adviser services and at the time in question Hostplus was a shareholder of IFS ultimate holding company.

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In response to ASIC’s concerns, Hostplus removed the use of the word ‘independent’ and paid the infringement notice.

Payment of the infringement notice however is not an admission of a contravention of the ASIC act.

Industry fund pays infringement notice for misleading ‘independent advice’ message
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Eliot Hastie

Eliot Hastie

Eliot Hastie is a journalist at Momentum Media, writing primarily for its wealth and financial services platforms. 

Eliot joined the team in 2018 having previously written on Real Estate Business with Momentum Media as well.

Eliot graduated from the University of Westminster, UK with a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism).

You can email him on: [email protected]

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