AFSL holders need to watch their words, fintech says

13 July 2018

Recent interventions by the investment regulator, like cracking down on the use of words such as “independent,” highlight the need for Australian Financial Services licensees to be more careful about the wording of their own marketing materials, according to fintech YTML.

AFSL holders also need to be more proactive about monitoring and approving the material being used by their advisers, it said.

YTML CEO, Kevin Liao, said while licensees may find it comparatively easy to become more proactive about addressing issues in their own marketing materials, many appear to believe it is much more difficult to check that the material being created and distributed on a day-to-day basis by their advisers is compliant.

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“In fact, technology now makes it much easier for licensees to be more proactive,” he said. “Solutions already exist which can, for example, notify a licensee of any changes their advisers make to their websites. It can also prevent any messaging going live before it is checked by compliance.”

These web solutions can provide licensees with a central communications hub, governed by the licensee’s compliance framework, which is capable of hosting adviser websites.

“Advisers often rely on their licensee for compliance guidance in relation to their client communication and this approach means that all material loaded to their websites and/or destined to be distributed via their websites can be checked by the licensee’s compliance team before going live,” Liao said.

“So, while licensees may think it is difficult to help their advisers, technology means it is no longer difficult at all.”

Liao said YTML’s Canvas software can notify licensees in real time when an adviser’s marketing material is developed or changed and can also approve or recommend changes in real time.

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