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ASIC Publishes First FSCP Reprimand for Adviser Impersonating Client

ASIC Publishes First FSCP Reprimand for Adviser Impersonating Client

ASIC's newly formed Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP) has recently published its first reprimand of an adviser known only as "Mr S" for impersonating a client during two phone conversations with a bank.
Although the adviser did not benefit from the attempt to facilitate a transaction on the client's behalf, the panel determined the adviser contravened the Corporations Act and issued a directive for the adviser to provide three successive compliance audits undertaken by their licensee.

The FSCP Register and Adviser Privacy

The FSCP Register is designed to display any adverse findings against financial advisers, but it will only include a summary of the finding if nothing noteworthy was determined. The names of advisers involved in a matter are usually not disclosed unless required to be published on the Financial Adviser Register. In some instances, a media release may be published by ASIC, but advisers will not be named on the outcomes register or in the media release unless the decision made by the panel is required to be recorded on the Financial Adviser Register.

New Regulations and the FSCP

The FSCP was created as part of the Better Advice Act passed in late 2021, which streamlined regulatory aspects in the financial services industry, including the shutdown of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA). The FSCP was officially launched at the beginning of last year, however, it took nearly six weeks before the government announced any appointments. The panel is expected to address less serious misconduct of advisers in the industry.

ASIC Senior Leader for Financial Advisers, Leah Sciacca, noted the existence of the FSCP at the Financial Advice Association roadshow last month and stressed that advisers who commit less serious misconduct wouldn't necessarily be named. Ms Sciacca explained that from time to time, ASIC may issue a media release when appropriate, but advisers' names would not be included in the release or on the outcomes register unless the decision is required to be recorded on the Financial Adviser Register.

In Conclusion

The FSCP has made its first published reprimand of an adviser for impersonating a client, further highlighting the regulatory environment within which financial advisers need to operate. The new FSCP register is expected to bring more transparency and accountability to the industry, however, it will not necessarily name and shame advisers committing less serious misconduct. It remains to be seen how the panel will operate and what impact it will have on industry compliance and misconduct.

Published:Saturday, 3rd Jun 2023
Source: Paige Estritori

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