Regulator ditches SOAs in COVID relief package

ASIC has provided temporary regulatory relief for advisers to provide advice more efficiently to a larger number of clients in the COVID-19 crisis, including elimination of the need for an SOA in some cases.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the corporate regulator said it would provide the temporary relief to "assist the industry in providing consumers with affordable and timely advice during the COVID-19 pandemic".

The relief measures included eliminating the need to provide an SOA when providing advice around early access to super, including when tax agents or in-house super fund advisers are providing such advice.

The measures are only available for advice where fees are capped at $300, the client has approached the adviser for advice and where the advice provider has established the client is eligible for early release.

The client would still need to be provided with a record of advice, ASIC said.

In addition, the corporate regulator said advisers would have 30 business days to give an SOA to a client, rather than 5 days, after time critical advice has been provided to clients.

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Advisers may also give an ROA to clients where their personal circumstances have changed or where they are seeing another adviser in the practice rather than their original adviser, as long as the client is an existing client of the advice practice.

The regulator said it would conduct surveillance to monitor compliance around the new measures and would "consider market developments" when deciding when to revoke the relief.

Regulator ditches SOAs in COVID relief package
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