10-269AD ASIC releases guidance to provide greater certainty about delivering online financial services disclosures
Monday 13 December 2010
ASIC today released guidance to provide greater certainty for financial services providers who supply financial services disclosures - such as product disclosure statements - to clients using online means, including email and the internet.
ASIC Deputy Chairman Belinda Gibson said, ‘ASIC recognises the importance that providers place on delivering more user-friendly and relevant information for clients and customers.’
‘Email and internet delivery can make financial services disclosure more user-friendly for clients and customers who wish to receive disclosures in this way, and it can provide savings for financial service providers.’
‘The guidance that ASIC has published today will give financial service providers greater confidence in delivering financial services information online.’
While the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) allows the online delivery of financial services disclosures in many cases, ASIC understands that some providers have been discouraged from doing so because of uncertainty about what specific practices the law permits.
In the guidance released today - Regulatory Guide 221 Facilitating online financial services disclosures (RG 221) - ASIC has set out:
if the client or the client’s agent agrees to receive disclosure in this way.
RG 221 also includes good practice guidance for online delivery of financial services disclosures to ensure that clients receive clear, concise and effective information as well as minimising their exposure to security risks where disclosures are delivered online – noting that some industry standards (e.g. the EFT Code) may prohibit or discourage delivery by methods such as hyperlinks.
ASIC believes providers of financial services disclosures should always consider which form of delivery of disclosure (paper or online) best suits their clients.
- its interpretation of the online disclosure provisions under the Corporations Act; and
- the relief ASIC has given in [CO 10/1219] to enable providers to deliver:
- PDSs, FSGs, and SOAs by sending a written notice (paper or electronic) with a reference to a website address where the disclosure can be found; and
- PDSs and FSGs by sending an email with a hyperlink to the disclosure
Rgulatory Guide 221
Facilitating online financial disclosures
Class Order [CO 10/1219]
Facilitating online delivery of PDSs, FSGs and SOAs
Report on submissions to consultation paper
ASIC Website: Printed 12/12/2013