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ASIC continues with COVID support for advisers

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Advisers can continue to provide clients with a record of advice instead of a statement of advice until April 15 next year, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) says.

ASIC announced last week that the temporary measure, first introduced in April last year to help the industry during the pandemic, will be extended again. It was to have ended on Friday.

“ASIC decided to extend this relief after industry consultation identified that the extension would be helpful for financial advisers in the current circumstances,” the corporate regulator said.

The regulator says it has also reintroduced the relief measure that allows advisers additional time to give clients a statement of advice. Advisers now have up to 20 business days instead of five to provide the documents. The original measure expired in April this year.

ASIC says the move is in response to industry feedback that there is an increased need for time-critical advice due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

It says it will continue to monitor the appropriateness of these temporary relief measures as circumstances change and may consider ending the relief before the six-month period if appropriate.

Sufficient notice will be given to the industry before any early repeal is implemented, ASIC said.