Financial services licensees that provide financial advice will soon have concrete guidance on client review and remediation.
A statement by ASIC noted the regulator has negotiated a “number of major review and remediation programs by financial advice firms” in recent years.
The most notable is example is the current advice review program underway at Macquarie Private Wealth.
ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said licensees that provide personal advice to retail clients should have “robust review and remediation programs in place”.
“We want to ensure that if a financial advice licensee needs to provide remediation, they do so in a way that is fair, honest and efficient,” Mr Kell said.
“Consumers will have greater trust if they can be confident that any remediation program is consistent and transparent.”
The new regulatory guide will build on ASIC’s “recent experience overseeing review and remediation programs” as well as Regulatory Guide 165 Licensing: Internal and external dispute resolution.
ASIC said it would consult with stakeholders during the development of the new regulatory guide, including with “consumer groups, external dispute resolution (ombudsman) schemes, compliance advisers and industry participants”.
Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) chief ombudsman Shane Tregillis welcomed ASIC's move to establish industry-wide principles and operating guidelines for "major remediation programs by financial firms".
"FOS is ready to work closely with firms to agree relevant documentation, timelines and the specific arrangements for streamlined review and independent decision making by FOS as part of any general review and remediation program," Mr Tregillis said.
"When considering implementing any such review and remediation program, we encourage firms to get in contact with FOS as early as possible to discuss," he said.
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