Dealer group charged with anti-hawking offences

National Advice Solutions has appeared at the Southport Magistrates Court in Queensland charged with 11 offences of offering to issue or sell a financial product via unsolicited phone calls.

Following an Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigation, it was alleged that between August 2019 and June 2020, National Advice Solutions made unsolicited calls to 11 consumers and encouraged them to roll over their superannuation into different superannuation products.

Reforms to the anti-hawking regime made under the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response) Act 2020, which commenced on 5 October, 2021, after the alleged offending. These reforms were designed to tackle consumer harms arising from consumers being approached with unwanted products through cold-calls or other unsolicited contact.

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At the time of the alleged offending, the maximum penalty for a breach of s992A(3) of the Corporations Act was $133,200 per breach for a body corporate.

The matter was being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions following referral of a brief of evidence from ASIC and had been listed for a mention hearing on 16 May, 2022.

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