ASIC has announced it is consulting on proposed updates to its guidance on the prohibition on the hawking of financial products.
The corporate regulator’s current regulatory guide, which reflects the reforms to the anti-hawking regime under the Financial Sector Reform, includes the application to all financial products, the extension of in-person meetings and telephone calls to “real-time interaction in the nature of a conversation or discussion” without consumer consent and that consent only be valid for six weeks from the date it is given.
“These reforms strengthen and consolidate the three existing hawking prohibitions into a single prohibition covering all financial products,” ASIC Commissioner, Danielle Press, said.
“The reforms take a technology neutral approach, meaning the ban applies to all forms of real-time communication. The prohibition incorporates for the first time a definition of unsolicited contact, requiring that consent given by a consumer be positive, voluntary and clear.
“These reforms will give consumers greater control over the circumstances in which they are offered products, and prevent consumers being approached with unwanted products on cold-calls or through other unsolicited contacts. They will also prevent businesses relying indefinitely on consents from consumers.
“ASIC’s guidance gives additional clarity on how the changes may affect commercial practices, systems and processes. This will help industry prepare for compliance with the new regime once it commences.”
All interested stakeholders can provide feedback now through to 17 August.
ASIC will release its final guidance in September ahead of the guide's commencement on 5 October.
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