ASIC provides disclosure relief ahead of AFCA commencement
Under transitional relief provided by ASIC, financial firms will have until 1 July 2019 to update mandatory disclosure documents and periodic statements with the contact details of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.
With the new external dispute resolution (EDR) scheme AFCA set to commence on 1 November this year, ASIC announced in a public statement that it will give financial firms transitional relief until 1 July 2019 to allow them time to update mandatory disclosure documents and periodic statements with the contact details of AFCA.
Under the disclosure relief provided, ASIC stated that financial firms will have until 1 July 2019 to update EDR details to refer to AFCA in mandatory disclosure documents, periodic statements and exit statements.
The relief will also mean that financial firms do not have to issue significant event notifications under s1017B of the Corporations Act associated with the transition to AFCA, the corporate regulator said.
ASIC has also amended Regulatory Guide 165 Licensing: Internal and external dispute resolution (RG 165) to require information about predecessor schemes and AFCA to be provided to complainants from 21 September 2018.
ASIC said it will continue to work with all EDR scheme stakeholders to ensure that the transition to AFCA is as smooth as possible for both financial firms and consumers.
ASIC said it will require the broader consumer communications about how to make a complaint, such as on websites, to be updated with AFCA’s details by 1 November 2018.
“Financial firms who wish to rely on the disclosure relief will need to review both the legislative instruments and the updated text in the box under RG 165.88,” ASIC stated.
“A range of measures have been put in place to ensure that consumers are kept informed of how and where to pursue a complaint during the transition to AFCA, which will start dealing with complaints about all financial firms from 1 November 2018.”