After recently releasing a consultation paper aimed at facilitating innovative financial services disclosure (see our previous blog), ASIC has announced a joint industry project to develop such innovative disclosure.

As part of the project, ASIC will work with AMP and Vanguard to develop and user-test a short, online ‘key facts’ sheet and a self-assessment tool to guide investor understanding. ASIC may also work with other product providers in future.

The findings from this new project are likely to further inform ASIC’s view on the proposed relief outlined in Consultation Paper 224 Facilitating electronic financial services and disclosures and how any such relief may apply in practice. Submissions for this consultation process close on 16 January 2015.

Consistent with previous messages, ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft said technology was integral to improving the effectiveness of disclosure, and that ASIC wants to encourage financial service providers to harness the opportunities of digitisation.

“More work needs to be done on short disclosure. Investors tend to turn off when faced with wordy disclosure documents. If they need more detail, investors can access further layers of information from product providers online”. – Greg Medcraft

With the final report from the Financial System Inquiry having been purportedly delivered to the Treasurer’s office (and we hope shortly released to the public!), it is encouraging that ASIC has recognised the limitations of the current disclosure framework and is proactively engaging with industry on the matter. 

Norton Rose Fulbright is already at the forefront of advising clients in respect of digital disruption in the financial services space and more broadly.  Contact us if you would like a copy of our paper “Disruptive Innovation: Regulation Tomorrow“.

We have also advised clients in relation to the movement towards crowd-funding platform structures, digital currencies and the utilisation of mobile technology to better reach and service clients.