ASIC has announced it has imposed additional conditions on the AFSL of Total Financial Solutions Australia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Countplus Limited. The conditions come following surveillance of the dealer group's authorised representatives. ASIC cliamed the surveillance "identified serious concerns", including a "one size fits all" approach to providing superannuation rollover advice; systemic failure to act in the client's best interests, particularly in instances where the advice related to a client's existing defined benefit superannuation funds and failure to prioritise the client's interests when providing advice.
"Adequate supervisory arrangements must be in place to ensure advisers are providing advice that is in the best interests of their clients. We know that deficiencies in licensee guidance and supervision can lead to systemic misconduct by advisers," ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said.
TFSA has consented to the conditions, and has agreed to appoint an ASIC-approved compliance expert for a period of 18 months.
"The expert will supervise TFSA in reviewing the advice that raised concerns in the ASIC surveillance and will provide findings to both ASIC and TFSA. TFSA and the expert will implement and oversee a client remediation program for affected clients. The expert will also conduct a review of the adequacy and effectiveness of its licensee compliance arrangements. As part of this condition, the expert will conduct an analysis of TFSA's compliance arrangements, focusing on the adequacy of its monitoring and supervision of its representatives and its dispute resolution procedures," ASIC said in a release.
The regulator acknowledged TFSA's cooperation in taking steps to acknowledge concerns, and in working with ASIC towards an agreed and client-focused outcome.
ASIC has imposed conditions on the licence of a dealer group.