The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has confirmed it was consulted on technical issues around opt-in and codes of conduct at around the same time the Financial Planning Association (FPA) was said to be negotiating with the Industry Super Network (ISN) around last-minute changes to the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) legislation.

Confirmation has come from ASIC commissioner Peter Kell, who told Senate Estimates that while he could not recall the details “there were some late consultations with ASIC about some aspects of that change”.

Kell had been specifically asked by the Opposition spokesman on Financial Services, Senator Mathias Cormann, whether ASIC was consulted about the last-minute amendment which, on the face of it, resulted from “a last-minute agreement between the ISN and FPA and the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten”.

Asked for further detail by Cormann about subsequent statements he had made about opt-in being a part of codes of conduct, Kell said what he had outlined was that ASIC would be looking towards “a provision that broadly achieved the same sorts of outcomes as the opt-in requirement as part of a code if the applicant wanted that code to satisfy the ‘obviate the need’ issue”.

“We do not have a fixed view on exactly how that should be implemented, but at this stage we wanted to send a signal to industry that they were going to have to give some careful thought to that, and we are also obviously obtaining advice ourselves on how that will work in codes in practice,” Kell said.


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