Financial planning and the role of financial planners as gate-keepers remains high on the agenda of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), according to the regulator’s corporate plan covering the next five years.
The corporate plan, released on Friday, sought to state what ASIC believes “good looks like” in the financial planning sector and listed circumstances where financial advisers:
- Act professionally, treat consumers fairly and prioritise consumers’ interests;
- Provide accessible, strategic financial advice that is aligned with consumer needs and delivers value for money; and
- Ensure that consumers are fully compensated when losses result from poor conduct.
Among the key risks outlined by the regulator for the period were:
- Poor culture and conduct in financial services and credit resulting in poor outcomes for investors and consumers;
- Poor culture and conduct in markets undermining market integrity;
- Financial vulnerability of consumers at key decision points;
- Misalignment of retail product design and distribution with consumer needs;
- Digital disruption;
- Inadequate risk management of technological change, including cyber threats; and
- Cross-border businesses, services and transactions in an uncertain environment.