ASIC extends temporary financial advice relief measure in COVID-19 instrument

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ASIC has announced that it will extend one of three temporary relief measures designed to help the financial advice industry provide consumers with affordable and timely advice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The original relief measures were announced on 14 April 2020 and are set out in ASIC Corporations (COVID-19—Advice-related Relief) Instrument 2020/355  (refer: 20-085MR). Instrument 2020/355 expires today.

ASIC will extend the relief measure that allows financial advisers to provide a record of advice rather than a statement of advice to existing clients requiring financial advice due to the impact of the pandemic.

ASIC decided to extend the relief measure after consulting with industry and identifying that some financial advice practices have found this measure helpful.

The other two measures set out in ASIC Corporations (COVID-19—Advice-related Relief) Instrument 2020/355 will not be extended. This is because the ‘early release of superannuation measure’ is no longer needed because the Government’s Early Release of Superannuation Scheme concluded on 31 December 2020. The ‘urgent advice measure’ was not extended following industry feedback that the relief was no longer necessary.

The record of advice relief measure has been extended to 15 October 2021 and is set out in a new legislative instrument ASIC Corporations (COVID-19—Advice-related Relief) Instrument 2021/268. ASIC will continue to monitor the appropriateness of the temporary relief related to records of advice in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the demand for financial advice. If appropriate, ASIC will end the relief before the six-month period or extend it. ASIC will give sufficient notice to industry before any early repeal or extension is implemented.

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