ClearView reinforces ASIC intervention on APLs
ClearView has reiterated its stance on intervention from the corporate regulator regarding Approved Product Lists for advisers, blasting the FSC’s inability to create an acceptable standard.
In March, ClearView said in its submission to the Senate economics legislation committee regarding the Life Insurance Framework (LIF) that ASIC must review the code of conduct and the presence of “conflicted” APLs.
It said the FSC “is not an independent body” and members “are developing their own rules in relation to APLs”.
ClearView maintained the same position in its submission to the current life insurance inquiry, run by the joint committee on corporations and financial services.
“If the FSC’s draft standard is implemented, it will place many advisers at serious risk of being unable to meet their legal obligations to clients, in particular with respect to the best interests duty and other fiduciary duties,” the submission said.
ClearView said FSC’s current draft APL standard would require life insurers to include “just two products on their APL” and if implemented, would “reinforce existing anti-competitive behaviour and encourage large vertically integrated life insurers to continue misusing their market power”.
It questioned the ability of the FSC and its members to “devise a satisfactory APL standard”.
“Instead, we believe that the government should either task ASIC with the formulation of a regulatory instrument that mandates open architecture APLs in life insurance or else direct ASIC to impose a licence condition on all vertically integrated dealer groups requiring them to have an open APL,” the submission said.
“If ASIC advises the government that it does not believe it has the necessary powers in this regard, ClearView believes that conflicted APLs should be prohibited through appropriate legislative changes.”
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