Monday 18 June 2007 LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) today issued a Class Order, [CO 07/447] Temporary extension of time for SOA delivery, to help retail investors get financial advice in the lead-up to the new superannuation arrangements that start on 1 July this year. ASIC is aware that many investors are consulting licensed advisers about decisions they may want to make before 30 June. Industry associations have informed ASIC that the number of investors seeking this kind of advice is so large that, in some cases, advisers may be unable to provide advice in these time-critical situations unless the normal period for providing a Statement of Advice (SOA) is changed.
ASIC supports the view of industry associations that it is important that, as far as possible, those making superannuation decisions in this period have access to advice from licensed professionals. So ASIC has changed the time by which a written SOA must be given in these circumstances from five days to 30 days. ASIC stresses that, apart from the time allowed to provide an SOA, all the rules about giving advice remain unchanged. Crucially, this includes the adviser’s obligations to give quality advice that takes into account a client’s needs and circumstances. Investors’ rights to take action for losses resulting from non-complying advice are also unchanged.
The ASIC class order also requires advisers giving advice in these circumstances to give written disclosure to the client, pointing out that the client may not receive a written statement of advice in time to help with other decisions they may need to make, such as exercising cooling off rights. The relief provided by the class order is effective from today until 30 June. A copy of [CO 07/447] Temporary extension of time for SOA delivery can be obtained from the ASIC website via www.asic.gov.au/co or by calling the ASIC Infoline on 1300 300 630. For further information contact: Angela Friend ASIC Media Unit Telephone: 03 9280 3338 Mobile: 0412 058 800 Page