ASIC cuts red tape on financial disclosures

by Julia Corderoy29 Jul 2015
ASIC has unveiled new digital disclosure measures for financial service providers in a bid to cut red tape and enhance consumer understanding in a digital world.

The regulator has released new guidance and waivers for businesses providing disclosures through digital channels, to encourage more efficient communication of information about financial products and services.

ASIC commissioner John Price says the new measures are in response to how consumers interact and communicate in a digital world.

“The measures announced today respond to changing consumer preferences, with ever increasing numbers of people transacting digitally. Almost 15 million Australians now have a home internet connection and 68% of those online are using three or more devices to access the internet,” he said.

According to Price, the changes will see product disclosure statements and other financial services disclosure documents delivered to consumers digitally as the default option, unless the consumer opts out. 

“This will reduce the costs of printing and mailing for businesses while preserving choice for those consumers who wish to receive paper,” he said.

“ASIC wants industry to harness the opportunities of digitisation and is encouraging the use of more engaging forms of communication using digital media – interactive, video and audio. This can boost consumer understanding of financial services and products.”