The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
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Chris Pearce

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer

26 October 2004 - 3 December 2007

Media Release of 19/12/2005

NO.047

PEARCE DELIVERS ON REFINEMENTS TO FINANCIAL SERVICES REGULATION

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, the Hon Chris Pearce MP, today announced that amendments to the Corporations Regulations to refine Financial Services Regulation (FSR) are now law.

“In May of this year, I gave a commitment to refine FSR to ensure consumers receive clear and concise information on which to base their financial decisions.

“The FSR refinement proposals were set out in a paper which I released seven months ago. Since then, there has been extensive public consultation on the proposals with all stakeholders across Australia having input into this process”, Mr Pearce said.

The amending regulations along with proposals implemented by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), complete the package of refinements.

“Many Australians will have received lengthy, detailed documents which can be complicated for consumers to understand. In addition, excessive documentation is burdensome for industry to produce, a cost which ends up being passed on to consumers

“The fundamental intent of FSR was to assist consumers to make informed decisions about their finances and these refinements ensure the continuation of this intent”, Mr Pearce said.

The amending regulations encourage the production of disclosure documents that have less duplicated information and are more directly relevant to consumers’ needs. The refinements also provide for more simple oral disclosure and streamlined written disclosure in relation to basic deposit products and general insurance products.

The refinements are also designed to reduce the compliance burden on industry and provide greater certainty as to how industry is to comply with their technical obligations under the law.

Mr Pearce thanked all those who contributed to the consultation process, saying “I would like to thank all of the stakeholders for their input, including ASIC and consumer groups”.

Throughout this first round of FSR Refinements, a number of other issues have been raised. “As a result of listening to community feedback on the original proposals, further related issues have been brought to my attention. I have asked for work to be done on these issues to determine whether more refinements are desirable”, Mr Pearce said.

An Information Pack is available at: www.treasury.gov.au

MELBOURNE
19 December 2005

Contact: Gillian Harvey (03) 9887 3890