ASIC to go shadow shopping

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission will use 300 real consumers to check what advice people are given when they seek information about their superannuation. ASIC’s survey will cover the full range of superannuation advice, namely: • all financial advisers, including banks, financial planners and accountants; • advice on retail funds, industry funds, corporate funds and self-managed super funds; and • all states and territories. Due to the large sample size, a professional compliance firm will be engaged to assist ASIC assess the legal compliance of the 300 examples of advice. If legal breaches are discovered, ASIC will determine what enforcement action is appropriate. ASIC’s shadow shopping survey is one part of its broader campaign to ensure consumers are protected during the introduction of super choice. Other ASIC projects include: • monitoring financial services licensees, including by file reviews; • monitoring advertising for misleading claims by financial advisers or super funds; • monitoring complaints and industry trends; • further guidance to the industry about appropriate standards; and • enforcement action where significant breaches are observed. Superannuation choice begins on July 1, and by July 28, around five million employees will have received a form giving them the option to choose the fund into which their compulsory superannuation guarantee contributions will be paid.

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