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October regulatory changes not ‘set and forget’, says ASIC

The corporate regulator says the benefits of a number of regulatory changes introduced last month will come over time and are “not ‘set and forget’”.

Speaking at the ARCA Credit Summit on Friday (12 November), ASIC commissioner Sean Hughes addressed the reforms that included changes to design and distribution obligations, breach reporting and hawking.

“These laws are not ‘set and forget’, but reflect changing consumer and community expectations, as transmitted through the Parliament,” Mr Hughes said.

“Instead, with ongoing experience and engagement, the benefits will accrue over time.

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“We hope this consumer-first mentality will become second nature for all participants in the financial markets.”

On a recent episode of the ifa Show, Lifespan Financial Planning chief executive Eugene Ardino said the changes were “a lot to cope with in one hit”.

“I think that the breach reporting is going to lead to an exponential growth in the number of breaches being reported because the advice that I’m getting is that they’ve cast the net pretty wide,” Mr Ardino said.

“But that’s something ASIC will have to deal with and licensees will have to just have good processes in place to make sure that they can comply with those.

“It’s a lot in an environment where everybody is still trying to absorb the changes with annual consent and fee disclosure statement.”

ASIC commissioner Danielle Press conceded during a parliamentary hearing in August that it is aware that the reforms are complex and said that the industry is “struggling to get their heads around some of it”.

Meanwhile, a report released earlier this month by research firm Investment Trends found that advised clients are also wanting improvements to communication around regulation changes.

At the conclusion of his address, Mr Hughes reiterated that the regulator will be looking at releasing financial hardship information on 1 July and implementing the Indigenous financial services framework.

“While we will look back in time at the past 18 or so months and measure the impacts on this sector and its people, we at ASIC are mindful that everyone here is part of the broader Australian community, many of whom have endured much hardship in this period,” he said.

“But from these challenges, renewed commitment, determination and competitive energy will, I am confident, emerge.”

October regulatory changes not ‘set and forget’, says ASIC
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Neil Griffiths

Neil Griffiths

Neil is the Deputy Editor of the wealth titles, including ifa and InvestorDaily.

Neil is also the host of the ifa show podcast.

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