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15-052MR Australian Financial Planning Solutions pays $10,200 penalty for misleading advertising
Australian Financial Planning Solutions Pty Ltd (AFPS), based in Victoria, has paid $10,200 in penalties after ASIC issued an infringement notice for making false or misleading representations.
AFPS is an authorised representative of Charter Financial Planning Limited, an Australian financial services (AFS) licensee and subsidiary of AMP Limited.
ASIC's concerns related to false or misleading representations made in an article titled "Benefits of a self-managed super fund" that appeared on AFPS's website between 22 July and 4 November 2014.
ASIC was concerned that:
- the article contained misleading and unsubstantiated claims that major retail and industry superannuation funds will experience payout difficulties, and
- the article misrepresented the taxation implications of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF) compared to major retail and industry superannuation funds, by giving the impression that certain tax benefits only apply to SMSFs, when they actually apply to most superannuation funds.
Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said, 'Consumers should be able to trust the information provided by financial firms when making decisions about their investments, including superannuation. ASIC will continue to take enforcement action where AFS licensees provide misleading information.'
AFPS has removed the statements from its website following ASIC's concerns.
Regulatory Guide 234 Advertising financial products and services (including credit): Good practice guidance (RG 234) provides guidance to help promoters comply with their legal obligations not to make false or misleading statements or engage in misleading or deceptive conduct.
The payment of an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the ASIC Act consumer protection provisions. ASIC can issue an infringement notice where it has reasonable grounds to believe a person has contravened certain consumer protection laws.