By Warwick Heeson (Lawyer) Oppenheim Legal
Fund managers and other financial services providers need to take a renewed approach to their service and product offerings in order to avoid the regulators attention in light of ASIC’s latest enforcement outcomes and its Corporate Plan 2015/2016 to 2018/2019. Currently, there are a total of 43 civil and 19 criminal cases before the Courts. Enforcement action is predominately for breaches of financial services law which include dishonest conduct, misleading statements and unlicensed conduct.
ASIC report 476: Enforcement outcomes July to December 2015, provides useful intelligence for fund managers on which areas of financial services law ASIC are targeting. Importantly, results of the report suggest breaches of financial services law have been particularly active for the period 1 July 2015 to 31 December, 2015. Results for ASIC during the period were 4 enforceable undertakings 67 remedies with 12 civil and 3 criminal convictions.
ASIC’s current enforcement actions is in line with the ASIC Corporate Plan. The Corporate Plan provides further intelligence for fund managers on the direction of enforcement by the regulator. The thrust of the plan is a renewed focus on responsible entities, company directors and financial market participants.
ASIC’s Corporate Plan details 6 areas of focus on financial services providers:
- the quality of advice and product offerings concerning retirement savings. In particular, inappropriate financial products, services and advice;
- how the financial services provider deals with clients who have suffered a loss as a result of poor advice;
- products characterised by financial innovation and engineering;
- whether the financial services provider fulfils their disclosure obligations; and
- importantly, corporate governance matters concerning related party transactions, inadequate company disclosures and financial reporting.
These developments highlight the importance for fund managers to hold the appropriate authorisations for their financial services business, ensure all marketing materials are up to date and are not considered misleading and your financial advisers and representatives know their obligations.
If you have any questions or require any information regarding your regulatory obligations please contact Warwick Heeson on 02 9227 8950 or email email@example.com