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Financial services complaints resolution scheme supports new ASIC licence requirements



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AN INITIATIVE OF THE

FINANCIAL PLANNING ASSOCIATION o f AUSTRALIA LIMITED A C N 0 5 4 1 7 4 4 5 3 · UMITEO BY GUARANTEE

MEDIA RELEASE 16 August 1998

FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPLAINTS RESOLUTION SCHEME SUPPORTS NEW ASIC LICENCE REQUIREMENTS

The Financial Services Complaints Resolution Scheme (FSCRS) today supported the new license requirements announced by the Australian Securities an4 Investments Commission (ASIC). ASIC today confirmed that licensees who provide investment advice to retail investors must from 1 October 1998 belong to an external complaints

resolution scheme approved by ASIC, as a condition of holding a securities dealers licence.

FSCRS Manager Ms Nicole Arendsen said that the new ASIC requirements would enhance consumer protection and were welcomed by FSCRS and the Financial Planning Association (FPA).

The Complaints Resolution Scheme (renamed the FSCRS in 1998 to reflect a broader role in the financial advisory services industry) was established by the FPA in 1995 as a free consumer service to clients of Principal FPA members, all of whom must hold a securities dealers licence from ASIC.

“The service offers a free and simple three stage process for resolution of complaints, and is a highly effective alternative to litigation”, said Ms Arendsen. Membership of FSCRS is compulsory for all FPA Principal members, and also covers their authorised

representatives.

“The Scheme, which is structurally independent from the FPA, has grown to be one of the leading dispute resolution schemes in the Australian financial services industry. It has achieved great success in meeting its goals of effective dispute resolution,” she said. ·* ; , -

To support ASIC’s requirement for licensed advisers to belong to an external complaints resolution scheme, FSCRS recently opened its doors to membership from other licensed financial advisers, in addition to its FPA membership base. First to sign an agreement to participate was the Australian Stock Exchange, many of whose

members have subsequently joined the Scheme.

FSCRS meets the Benchmarks for Industry Based Customer Dispute Resolution Schemes released by the Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs in August 1997. These Benchmarks, together with new legislative requirements, will form the basis of approval of independent dispute resolution schemes. Now that ASIC has announced its policy guidelines, FSCRS will apply for scheme approval,

“As one of Australia’s foremost dispute resolution schemes, with an exceptional track record, we are preparing for substantial membership growth in the near future,” said Ms Arendsen. FSCRS immediately welcomes membership enquiries from licensed financial investment advisers, on (03) 9614 2944.

CONTACT·. Sue Coffey 0413 757 206