ASIC updates anti-hawking guidance

The corporate regulator has updated its anti-hawking regulatory guidance for the regime set to start on 5 October, 2021.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said the updated guidance provided further clarity to the industry on how it could comply with the regime and how the reforms affected commercial practices. ASIC also added 12 examples in response to the feedback received from its consultation.

The regime would prohibit a person from offering a financial product to a retail client in the course or because of unsolicited, real-time contact. A consumer must consent to being contacted, and that consent must be positive, voluntary and clear.

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ASIC deputy chair, Karen Chester, said: “These changes put in place fairness protections, so consumers are not sold products they don’t want or don’t need. The restrictions mean consumer needs will be central to how firms offer products.

“The reforms introduced by the Government mean that consumers will be able to control how and when they are offered products, rather than being caught unaware or feeling pressured to make quick decisions.

“Under the new laws, ASIC will be better able to tackle poor conduct by firms where consumers are pressured into products that are not right for them.”

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