ASIC raises adviser standards

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission wants to introduce new rules which will force licensed advisers to promote and sell only those investment products which are appropriate for individual investors. Advisers would also be required to retain for seven years documentation relating to advice given, fees and commissions.

Advisers would need to compile three new documents when providing advice; a Financial Services Guide, a statement of advice and a product disclosure statement. The proposals have sparked an angry reaction from the financial services industry. Participants in the sector said compliance costs would rise, leading to higher advisory fees.