For those looking to base their SoAs on the ASIC example Statement of Advice but not wanting to use the pdf version, we've converted and formatted the Word version for you to download.
ASIC described their sample Statement of Advice as being their interpretation of "clear, concise and effective advice and disclosure" for a specific financial situation.
Further details from the release were:
The example SOA was developed on the basis of a hypothetical financial planning scenario developed in consultation with financial planning experts. It deals with personal advice about personal insurance, investing in managed funds and basic deposit products.
ASIC is looking to industry to produce other example SOAs in specific areas such as advice on establishing a share portfolio, a ‘whole of life’ financial plan and an SOA focused on superannuation issues. ASIC might release further example SOAs, depending on the extent to which industry engages in this process.
‘ASIC’s example SOA has been designed as an illustrative aid. We encourage industry to become familiar with the example SOA and to adapt its style and approach in their SOAs (as appropriate)’, Mr Cooper said
‘ASIC does not intend to assess any adviser’s SOA against the example SOA in a compliance review. It is just an example and is not supposed to reflect the ‘perfect’ SOA either. We were particularly careful not to produce an example that would take an unrealistic and uncommercial amount of effort to prepare in a real-life situation. It is not a template that can be used in all situations. It provides a simple way for ASIC to communicate what we think an SOA dealing with these issues should look like. Licensees and their advisers should look at the general approach, rather than the specific details, of the example SOA’, Mr Cooper said.
The example SOA provides some important insights into what ASIC thinks is important in SOAs. These are: length – the example SOA is only 12 pages long; there are no ‘weasel words’ (i.e. lengthy disclaimers and exclusions); it is written in simple, plain English; there is adequate disclosure of conflicts, fees and commissions; and there is a clear explanation of the scope and limitations of the advice. The example SOA has been released with a guide that explains how and why ASIC developed the example SOA. The guide: sets out the purpose of the example SOA (Section 1); outlines the framework in which the SOA was developed (Section 2); and explains why certain information has been included, or not included (Section 3).
Feel free to adjust this SoA template according to your licensee standards and add in some of our Strategy text documents to suit your client's situation.