The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (AISC) has signalled it will appeal the Federal Court’s determination last year that the corporate regulator had not made out its case that Westpac Securities Administration Limited (WSAL) and BT Funds Management (BT FM) provided personal advice to 15 customers.
The test case last year found that a sales process WSAL and BT FM engaged in to sell their superannuation produces was contrary to section 912A(1)(a) of the Corporations Act, and placed more onerous obligations on licensees providing personal advice.
ASIC’s decision to appeal the Court’s decision in relation to personal advice reflects its desire to obtain further clarity and certainty concerning the difference between general and personal advice for consumers and financial services providers.
ASIC deputy chair, Daniel Crennan QC, said it was important for the regulator to seek clarity on pivotal statutory provisions, and the dividing line between personal and general advice is one of the most important provisions within financial services.
“It directly impacts the standard of advice received by consumers,” he said. “This is why ASIC brought this test case and ASIC believes further consideration by the Full Court of the Federal Court is necessary to better inform consumers and industry.”