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19-218MR ASIC to review industry transition towards ending grandfathered remuneration for financial advice
ASIC is investigating the progress of transition away from grandfathered conflicted remuneration arrangements for financial advisers.
The investigation, directed by the Treasurer following the Government’s commitment to end the practice by 1 January 2021, will review the steps taken by industry participants from 1 July 2019 until the 2021 deadline.
ASIC will also investigate any impediments to this transition, and the extent to which benefits are being passed on to affected clients.
ASIC will conduct both quantitative and qualitative reviews. For the quantitative study, ASIC will conduct a survey of entities known to pay grandfathered conflicted remuneration to Australian financial services (AFS) licensees or their representatives and require them under notice to provide data:
- initially for a 12-month period (from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019), and
- thereafter on a quarterly basis for the review period (for example, reporting for the period from 1 July to 30 September 2019 will be in October 2019).
The first notice to entities will be issued today and they will be required to provide their responses via a web portal. The qualitative review will include a smaller sample of entities that pay and receive grandfathered remuneration. This will involve more detailed engagement and analysis during the review period.
ASIC will analyse the information from both reviews and report to the Treasurer by 30 June 2021. The report will also be released publicly. ASIC expects to provide an update on its investigation to the Treasurer and industry as appropriate during the review period.
In its final report, the Financial Services Royal Commission recommended an end to the grandfathering of conflicted remuneration for financial advice as soon as practicable – a position ASIC has also long advocated.
On 22 February 2019, the Government released consultation draft legislation to end grandfathering as of 1 January 2021. The draft legislation also provided a framework for rebating previously-grandfathered remuneration to affected clients. On the same day, the Treasurer directed ASIC to investigate the extent to which grandfathering is being voluntarily ended by the industry and whether the benefits were being passed on to affected clients.
On 30 July 2019, the Government announced the introduction of legislation on 1 August 2019 to ban the grandfathering of conflicted remuneration paid to financial advisers.