The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has admitted spending nearly $31,000 over the past nine years funding submissions specifically on financial advice for its controversial Consumer Advisory Panel (CAP).
What is more, those submissions ranged across issues as diverse at the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) legislation to codes of conduct and opt-in.
But the financial advice specific submissions were just a small part of the broader funding provided to the CAP which totalled well over $100,000.
Answering questions on notice from NSW Liberal backbencher, Jason Falinksi, as part of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, ASIC outlined the funding it had provided, but claimed that it had not benefited any specific consumer group.
“Beyond its broad consumer protection role noted above, one area of Commonwealth laws that ASIC administers is those relating to the provision of financial advice,” ASIC said. “These include laws going to licensing and the obligations that attach to holding a license, disclosure, standards of conduct and advice, conflicts of interest, codes of conduct approval, and dispute resolution and remediation.”
“ASIC provided funding to support the preparation of consumer submissions relating to financial advice on four occasions in the past 10 years:
2018-2019: Joint consumer submissions on the FASEA code of ethics and education pathways. The submissions incorporate issues raised in the FASEA Consumer Forum of June 29, 2018. Dr Hugh Breakey & Professor Charles Sampford. $10,000.
2012-2013: Joint consumer submission to ASIC Consultation Paper 191 Future of Financial Advice: Approval of codes of conduct for exemption from opt‑in requirement. Gordon Renouf $5,280.
2011-2012: Joint consumer submission in response to the St John Report on Compensation Arrangements for Consumers of Financial Services. Gordon Renouf and Amie Meers $6,600.
2011-2012: Coordination and preparation of joint consumer submissions to the consultation on the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) Bills tranches 1 and 2. Associate Professor, Joanna Bird, University of Sydney $9,000.”
ASIC said the funding was not provided on behalf of any specific consumer group.
“CAP members identified the need for consumer submissions to these public consultation processes and ASIC decided to allocate funding to facilitate the preparation of a joint consumer submission.
“In each case it was up to the relevant consultant to determine what organisations or individuals they spoke to in preparing the submission, including CAP members,” the ASIC response said.