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AD09-33 ASIC reviews policy on internet discussion sites

Monday 2 March 2009

Today we released a consultation paper on the regulation of internet discussion sites that have commentary about financial products.

Consultation Paper 104 Internet discussion sites (CP 104) will help guide ASIC’s review of Regulatory Guide 162 Internet discussion sites (RG 162).

This consultation paper:
Internet discussion sites (IDSs) are internet websites that provide a place for people who are not financial services professionals to share information, recommendations and opinions about financial products such as shares.

Under the current law, the activities of IDS operators and users may constitute the provision of financial services, for which an Australian Financial Services licence (AFSL) is required. ASIC proposes to update its policy to give specific guidance on which IDSs are likely to need an AFSL. ASIC does not propose to grant IDS operators relief from the financial services licensing and disclosure regimes, meaning operators will need to hold an AFSL unless a pre-existing exemption applies to them.

ASIC also proposes to give guidance on the conduct requirements applying to IDS operators, whether or not they hold a licence.

The consultation paper proposes that all IDS operators should, at a minimum:

Submissions on the proposals contained in the Consultation Paper CP 104 close on 27 April 2009.

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