Ombudsman extends SOA relief to complaints process

The financial services industry ombudsman has said it will take ASIC’s regulatory relief around SOAs into account when dealing with financial complaints against advisers in the next few months.

In a statement released on Tuesday, AFCA chief executive David Locke said the measures announced by the regulator, including eliminating the need for an SOA when giving advice around early super release, were sensible given the circumstances created by the COVID-19 crisis.

“AFCA strongly welcomes ASIC’s relief measures to facilitate advice about early access to superannuation,” Mr Locke said.

“We note that this includes changes to who can advise people about the early release of their superannuation, and what records these advisers must keep.

“We will take these changes into account – including the form of the advice and the time frame extensions – when dealing with complaints that arise due to COVID-19.”

The comments come following ASIC’s announcement last week that advice around the early release of super would not require an SOA, providing the cost of the advice was $300 or under.

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In addition, other relief measures announced by the regulator included extending the amount of time permitted for advisers to provide an SOA to the client when advice was time critical, from five days to 30 days.

ASIC also confirmed that advisers could use an ROA with existing clients whose circumstances had changed or who were seeing another adviser within the same practice.

Ombudsman extends SOA relief to complaints process
David Locke
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