Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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CORPORATIONS ACT 2001 - SECT 961B

Provider must act in the best interests of the client

             (1)  The provider must act in the best interests of the client in relation to the advice.

             (2)  The provider satisfies the duty in subsection (1), if the provider proves that the provider has done each of the following:

                     (a)  identified the objectives, financial situation and needs of the client that were disclosed to the provider by the client through instructions;

                     (b)  identified:

                              (i)  the subject matter of the advice that has been sought by the client (whether explicitly or implicitly); and

                             (ii)  the objectives, financial situation and needs of the client that would reasonably be considered as relevant to advice sought on that subject matter (the client's relevant circumstances );

                     (c)  where it was reasonably apparent that information relating to the client's relevant circumstances was incomplete or inaccurate, made reasonable inquiries to obtain complete and accurate information;

                     (d)  assessed whether the provider has the expertise required to provide the client advice on the subject matter sought and, if not, declined to provide the advice;

                     (e)  if, in considering the subject matter of the advice sought, it would be reasonable to consider recommending a financial product:

                              (i)  conducted a reasonable investigation into the financial products that might achieve those of the objectives and meet those of the needs of the client that would reasonably be considered as relevant to advice on that subject matter; and

                             (ii)  assessed the information gathered in the investigation;

                      (f)  based all judgements in advising the client on the client's relevant circumstances;

                     (g)  taken any other step that, at the time the advice is provided, would reasonably be regarded as being in the best interests of the client, given the client's relevant circumstances .

Note:          The matters that must be proved under subsection (2) relate to the subject matter of the advice sought by the client and the circumstances of the client relevant to that subject matter (the client's relevant circumstances). That subject matter and the client's relevant circumstances may be broad or narrow, and so the subsection anticipates that a client may seek scaled advice and that the inquiries made by the provider will be tailored to the advice sought.

Advice given by Australian ADIs--best interests duty satisfied if certain steps are taken

             (3)  If:

                     (a)  the provider is:

                              (i)  an agent or employee of an Australian ADI; or

                             (ii)  otherwise acting by arrangement with an Australian ADI under the name of the Australian ADI; and

                     (b)  the subject matter of the advice sought by the client relates only to the following:

                              (i)  a basic banking product;

                             (ii)  a general insurance product;

                            (iii)  consumer credit insurance;

                            (iv)  a combination of any of those products;

the provider satisfies the duty in subsection (1) in relation to the advice given in relation to the basic banking product and the general insurance product if the provider takes the steps mentioned in paragraphs (2)(a), (b) and (c).

General insurance products--best interests duty satisfied if certain steps are taken

             (4)  To the extent that the subject matter of the advice sought by the client is a general insurance product, the provider satisfies the duty in subsection (1) if the provider takes the steps mentioned in paragraphs (2)(a), (b) and (c).

Regulations

             (5)  The regulations may prescribe:

                     (a)  a step, in addition to or substitution for the steps mentioned in subsection (2), that the provider must, in prescribed circumstances, prove that the provider has taken, to satisfy the duty in subsection (1); or

                     (b)  that the provider is not required, in prescribed circumstances, to prove that the provider has taken a step mentioned in subsection (2), to satisfy the duty in subsection (1); or

                     (c)  circumstances in which the duty in subsection (1) does not apply.



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