August 2022

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2022

Technology and social media are changing more than just the way we spend our spare time. The way we socialise, interact, conduct business and learn have been transformed. The world of financial services is no exception and ASIC has displayed concern about the role that these platforms play, and the sometimes questionable credentials of the people handing out information and advice.

With an extraordinary amount of information out there it seems as though the financial regulator faces an impossible task. Where will they look first… Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Telegram… the list goes on.

If that doesn’t seem hard enough, there is then the issue of content such as Snapchat videos and live stories/footage that may not be saved or viewed for a second time. With a world of information in the palm of our hand, we are placing greater significance on material we can read, consume and subsequently analyse. This is reflected in a recent survey which showed that online trading sites now outrank advisers as the most popular source of information for Australian investors.

A tap used to be something you gave someone on the shoulder to get their attention but it is now the method of making quick and easy decisions regarding our finances. We no longer think twice about engaging in financial transactions via a mobile app and this is reflected by the growing number of people that are managing their investments this way. You can now make, monitor and review trades in a matter of seconds on your phone or tablet.

Information sheet (INFO 269) outlines how financial services laws apply to ‘FinFluencers’. It relates specifically to those who do not hold an AFS licence. It is crucial to understand all legal obligations when discussing financial products and services online or promote affiliate links. One of the principal obligations is to provide content that is accurate and balanced. Sounds easy and logical enough but whether everyone does is a different matter.

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