Industry fund HostPlus has paid a $12,600 infringement notice penalty for making misleading claims about offering “independent advice”.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced the imposition of the infringement notice today noting that the claims about “independent advice” had been contained with in a recorded message on the fund’s consumer telephone number.
ASIC said that from at least July, 2016, to late March 2018 the recorded telephone message ferred to a free consultation available to members with an Industry Funds Services licensed financial planner. It then referred to the advice as independent.
It said that following a complaint, ASIC had had investigated and had become concerned that HostPlus and IFS were not independent of each other because HostPlus employees were appointed as authorised representatives to provide financial advice under the IFS license.
ASIC said that HostPlus had immediately removed the word “independent” from its telephone message.