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ASIC Targeting fees for no service

The corporate regulator is focussing on the fee-for-no-service (FFNS) space, one of the major issues highlighted in both the Hayne Royal Commission hearings and the Royal Commission’s interim and final reports.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) made two updates this week addressing FFNS: one focussed on the delays in the major institutions’ conduct reviews to find systemic challenges in their organisation; the other addressed information from Clayton Utz that was previously kept from AISC on the basis that it was protected by legal professional privilege.

Review delays

According to ‘big 4’ banks, Macquarie Bank and AMP, the delays are the result of poor record-keeping, failures in their customer-centric approaches, and an overly-legalistic approach to the services such organisations are required to provide.

ASIC Commissioner, Danielle Press, said the regulator was pleased to learn the Government will adopt the recommendations outlined in ASIC’s Enforcement Review Taskforce Report.

“This would allow ASIC to direct AFS licensees to establish suitable customer review and compensation programs,” Press added, in an official statement this week.

Passing legal professional privilege

ASIC also released a statement earlier this week indicating that Clayton Utz has provided notes on interviews they conducted with past and present AMP staff in connection with the FFNS.

“ASIC is pleased the documents have now been produced; however, we’re disappointed the matter was not resolved sooner,” said ASIC Deputy Chair, Daniel Crennan.

This statement comes after the regulator started Federal Court proceedings against both Clayton Utz and AMP to compel the companies to provide the information.

AMP has agreed to pay ASIC’s legal costs.

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