Risk Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 27 June 2017

Company Updates

MDRT recognises AIOFP
The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) has recognised the Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals (AIOFP) as a professional association. AIOFP has also applied to the Tax Practitioners Board for professional recognition.

Regulatory Updates

ASIC clarifies position on 'independently owned'
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has clarified its position on the term 'independently owned' and similar words and phrases. Following external legal advice, words such as 'independently owned' can be used by a financial adviser only if the conditions set out in the Act are met. This means that if a financial adviser does not receive any commissions or volume-based payments, or other gifts or benefits and has no conflicts of interest or influence from any product issuer, then they can describe themselves as being 'independently owned'. ASIC has extended the deadline for six months so advice firms can change websites and documents to satisfy the conditions. 

ASIC temporarily extends time to provide SoAs
Financial advisers now have time to provide retail clients with a Statement of Advice (SoA) for urgent superannuation advice after ASIC temporarily extended relief. This relief gives financial advisers up to 30 days to provide an SoA while still being required to meet all other obligations under the Act.