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Australian regulator to review compliance breaches in financial advice sector

Australia's corporate regulator will conduct a review of financial advice licensees' compliance with the requirements for fee disclosure statements and renewal notices.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said it is reviewing the requirements after receiving a number of breach reports from licensees. The reports indicate that the licensees failed to comply with the disclosure and renewal notice requirements. ASIC is investigating the reports.

In addition to investigating those reports, the regulator will also undertake a project that will test compliance with fee disclosure statements. ASIC will examine to what extent advice licensees issue fee disclosure statements and renewal notice and whether they issue the reports within the timeframes set out by the law. ASIC will also look into the required content of these statements and if they are accurate and if the licensees have appropriate procedures in place to ensure that fees for ongoing services are discontinued when arrangements are terminated.

ASIC will test compliance with these obligations across a range of small and large licensees and will share its findings in 2019.