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ASIC to target wealth management in 2017

ASIC will put a particular emphasis on the enforcement activities of its Wealth Management Project in the coming six months.

In its enforcement report for the second half of 2016, the regulator said it plans to “build on the significant number of investigations and surveillances” undertaken in the last six months by the Wealth Management Project, which is focused on improving the standards of advice and remediation in financial services.

Additionally, ASIC said it would pay “particular attention” to responsible lending practices in the credit industry and financial advisers’ compliance with the best interest duty.

Failure among licensees to provide ongoing advice services where clients are paying a service fee and cases of licensees providing personal advice while calling it general advice (meaning they don’t have to comply with the best interest duty and a number of other obligations), will also be areas of focus for the regulator.

“Over the next six months, we will continue to focus on enforcing higher standards in the financial services industry,” the regulator said.

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