Anti-hawking regime consultation opens

The corporate regulator has updated its guidance on its anti-hawking regime which is due to commence on 5 October, 2021.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said it sought consultation on its guidance on the prohibition on hawking of financial products which came out of the Hayne Royal Commission.

The consultation paper noted that ASIC was looking in particular to revise and clarify its guidance on the types of communications and the nature and scope of consent to which the hawking prohibition applies.

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“We are also proposing to add guidance on the right of return, which is a consumer remedy,” it said.

ASIC commissioner, Danielle Press, said: “These reforms strengthen and consolidate the three existing hawking prohibitions into a single prohibition covering all financial products. The reforms take a technology neutral approach, meaning the ban applies to all forms of real-time communication.

“The prohibition incorporates for the first time a definition of unsolicited contact, requiring that consent given by a consumer be positive, voluntary and clear.

“These reforms will give consumers greater control over the circumstances in which they are offered products, and prevent consumers being approached with unwanted products on cold-calls or through other unsolicited contacts. They will also prevent businesses relying indefinitely on consents from consumers.

“ASIC’s guidance gives additional clarity on how the changes may affect commercial practices, systems and processes. This will help industry prepare for compliance with the new regime once it commences.”

Consultation on the regime was open until 17 August, 2021.

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