ASIC’s acknowledgement has come as part of a Parliamentary Committee’s questioning, with the regulator acknowledging the number of times it has met with Choice over the three years and the fact that Choice is represented on ASIC’s Consumer Advisory Panel which meets three time a year.
ASIC’s engagement with Choice was queried within a question on notice from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services as part of a series of queries around ASIC’s approach to the regulation of the timeshare industry.
“ASIC’s Consumer Advisory Panel (CAP) comprises representatives from consumer and investor groups and meets three times per year to discuss a broad range of consumer and investor issues. Choice is represented on CAP,” the regulator said.
“ASIC’s meetings with Choice have assisted ASIC’s understanding of potential consumer harms in respect of time-share and provide an alternate view to those expressed by industry in our consideration of our policy settings,” it said.
“As an interested stakeholder, Choice are generally kept informed of ASIC’s inquiries through meetings held with them specifically and their involvement in our Consumer Advisor Panel but Choice had no involvement in the nature or direction of the research activities undertaken,” the ASIC answer said.
“Their views have been considered in the formulation of our proposed amendments to RG 160 through our consultation on RG 160.”
ASIC also revealed in answer to a question on notice from the committee that none of its personnel involved in its review of the time share industry had actually worked in the industry, but stated that they had combined experience in undertaking consumer research, researching financial products and assessing the quality of financial advice.