ASIC grants super advice relief

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) granted relief to a superannuation fund which holds an Australian Financial Services License to allow its salaried staff to provide advice without being authorized representatives.

The regulator revealed its relief decision in a report providing an overview of relief applications, and said that relief had been granted to two AFS licensees – a company operating a financial advice business and a superannuation trustee that held all of its shares – Health Super Financial Services.

ASIC said the relief had been sought "to avoid the employed representatives having to be authorized representatives because section911B(1)(a) of the Corporations Act imposed particular responsibilities on authorized representatives if they were acting on behalf of two AFS licensees which were not related bodies corporate.

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"The relief was granted because we considered there would be an unreasonable burden placed on the individual employee advisers if they were subject to personal liability under Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act as an authorized representative," the ASIC explanation said.

"We granted the relief by way of a declaration that section48 (of the Corporations Act) be disregarded for the purposes of determining whether the entities are related bodies corporate, when determining whether an employee representative could act on behalf of a licensee," it said.

It said that when giving financial product advice to retail clients, the modified provisions required the advisers to provide a written statement disclosing the licensee responsible for the advice.

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