ASIC Extends Temporary Financial Advice Relief Measures


ASIC has announced that it will further extend temporary relief measures designed to help the financial advice industry provide consumers with affordable and timely advice during the pandemic.

The regulator says in a statement that the original relief measures were announced on 14 April 2020 and are set out in ASIC Corporations (COVID-19—Advice-related Relief) Instrument 2020/355 (see: ASIC Grants SoA Relief for Advice on Early Super Access.)

It notes it has extended the ‘record of advice’ relief measure, which allows financial advisers to provide a record of advice, rather than a statement of advice, to existing clients requiring financial advice due to the impact of the pandemic. The relief will now end on 15 April 2022.

ASIC says it decided to extend this relief “…after industry consultation identified that the extension would be helpful for financial advisers in the current circumstances.”

It adds that it has also reintroduced the relief measure that allows financial advisers additional time to give their clients a statement of advice after time-critical advice has been provided.

Under this measure financial advisers have up to 20 business days (instead of five business days). The original relief measure expired on 15 April 2021.

ASIC adds that it remade this relief in response to industry feedback that there is an increased need for time-critical advice due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

Both temporary relief measures are set out in ASIC Corporations (COVID-19—Advice-related Relief) Instrument 2021/268.

The regulator says it will continue to monitor the appropriateness of these temporary relief measures “…as circumstances change and may consider ending the relief before the six-month period if appropriate. ASIC will give sufficient notice to industry before any early repeal is implemented.”