FPA welcomes regulatory scrutiny on finfluencers

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) has welcomed the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) clamping down on the use of finfluencers.

FPA chief executive, Sarah Abood, said it was encouraging to see ASIC providing clear guidance on what was legally allowed when discussing financial products and services online.

“ASIC is reminding finfluencers that the law does apply to them and warning them that ASIC will take legal action if necessary.”

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Abood said the FPA had long been concerned about an apparent ‘two tier’ approach to the regulation of financial advice, where social influencers operating online seemed to be treated differently to financial planners.

“Financial planners are subject to a high degree of oversight and regulation, and consumers can have confidence in the advice they receive from a professionally qualified and registered financial planner. None of these protections apply where finfluencers are concerned,” Abood said.

The FPA agreed finfluencers could play a role in improving financial literacy and confidence among consumers, and they were often effective at providing information in an engaging way.

“However, they are not legally able to give personal or general advice on financial products, and anyone acting on a recommendation from this source is essentially on their own if things go wrong,” Abood said.

Abood also flagged the risk financial influencers posed to consumers in relation to unregulated products such as cryptocurrency.

“Australians should only act on the advice of qualified, professional financial planners who are complying with a code of ethics to provide advice in your best interests, where there are consumer protections, regulators are supervising them and they are providing support and assistance for clients.”

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Who will ASIC bill for the costs of monitoring these people? Hope the FPA volunteer to cover the costs!!! Otherwise I can see our ASIC fees going up. (It's almost like charging one client to service another - or fees for no service!!!)

And supported by the FPA.

And this was posted just 2 weeks ago by a Guru finluencer accross mass media platforms.
So where is ASIC regarding this?

Followed by this classic middle finger to ASIC.
No conflicts of interest here...

Thank you for writing this article. Better regulation and enforcement is needed to control the problem of unlicensed actors.

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