The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has backed the use of the Internet as the default delivery mechanism for key financial services documentation such as Product Disclosure Statements (PDSs) and Statements of Advice (SOAs).
In a submission to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission responding to a consultation paper on financial services disclosure, ASFA said its support for the Internet as the default delivery mechanism was that it could provide information in a more contemporary and timely fashion, had the potential to significantly reduce costs and represented a significant step forward with respect to efficiency.
However, the ASFA submission urged that default online disclosure carry with it the same consumer protections as those associated with annual reports for superannuation funds.
It said default online disclosure should apply to all communications including private disclosures and point of sale disclosures.
“A vital part of this implementation process will be the education of fund members to inform them of how online disclosure works,” the submission said. “ASFA believes that it is the responsibility of the provider to engage with their members and educate them on the advantages of an online process and to ensure proper maintenance of e-mail addresses to further facilitate online disclosure.”