ASIC consults on promoting access to affordable advice for consumers

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ASIC has issued Consultation Paper 332 Promoting access to affordable advice for consumers (CP 332).

CP 332 seeks input from industry participants and relevant stakeholders to help ASIC understand:

  • the issues and impediments relating to the supply of good quality affordable personal advice; and
  • the practical steps that can be taken by ASIC and industry to improve consumer access to good quality affordable advice.

This consultation is part of a broader piece of work by ASIC to understand how to improve access to personal advice for consumers.

A particular focus of this paper is on promoting access to quality ‘limited advice’. All personal advice can be scaled up and down to cover all areas relevant to the client, or one or some of the areas relevant to the client. ‘Limited advice’ is personal advice that does not cover all areas that are relevant to the client. It is also known as ‘scaled’, ‘piece-by-piece’, ‘single issue’, ‘modular’ or ‘episodic’ advice.

We know from previous research that consumers want better access to limited and affordable advice, but that many industry participants find it challenging to provide this type of advice.

ASIC is keen to receive feedback on the impediments to providing affordable and limited advice that ASIC and industry are able to address.

ASIC Commissioner Danielle Press said, ‘Good-quality affordable personal advice may help consumers make better financial decisions, especially during times of heightened vulnerability. We welcome feedback from the financial advice industry and others with an interest in making advice more accessible to consumers.

‘Your feedback is vital for us to better understand the impediments on the supply side. It will help us determine what meaningful steps we can take to help industry better provide good-quality affordable advice that meets consumers’ needs,’ Ms Press said.

ASIC is inviting feedback from the financial advice industry and others with an interest in making affordable advice more accessible to consumers. Feedback on industry’s experience in providing limited, digital and strategic advice is of particular interest.

As part of this consultation, ASIC is also seeking input on what can be done to make the example statements of advice (SOAs) in Regulatory Guide 244 Giving information, general advice and scaled advice and Regulatory Guide 90 Example Statement of Advice: Scaled advice for a new client more helpful.

Submissions to CP 332 are due by 18 January 2021. Industry is invited to provide feedback online at this link, which contains all the questions found in CP 332.

ASIC will hold industry roundtables in the first quarter of 2021 to discuss the issues raised in the submissions.

Download

Consultation Paper 332 Promoting access to affordable advice for consumers

Background

ASIC’s previous consumer research Report 627 Financial advice: What consumers really think and Report 224 Access to financial advice in Australia identified that consumers want to access to affordable advice and, in particular, limited advice.

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