FSC Guidance Notes

FINANCIAL SERVICES GUIDANCE NOTES

Compliance with the Financial Services Council’s ("FSC") Guidance Notes is voluntary but strongly encouraged. The Guidance Notes provide a guide to what is considered to be industry best practice in certain areas. In some cases Guidance Notes become industry Standards over time.

Below are a list of all generally available FSC Guidance Notes. To access FSC Standards, click here.

NOTE: We are currently in the process of updating all our Guidance Notes to reflect changes occurring as a result of our renaming as the Financial Services Council. This will take some time. In the interim, however, FSC members are encouraged to continue to utilise the Guidance Notes as best industry practice.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 1

GLOBAL INVESTMENT PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

The purpose of this Guidance Note is to assist Financial Services Council members in following the global standard for the presentation of historical investment manager performance through adoption of the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS).


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 2

FINANCIAL SERVICES COUNCIL BLUE BOOK – CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: A GUIDE FOR FUND MANAGERS AND CORPORATIONS (REPEALED)

This Guidance Note has been repealed effective 28 March 2018.  


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 3

FINANCIAL REPORTING (REPEALED)

This Guidance Note has been repealed due to the harmonisation and adoption of international accounting standards by the AASB.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 4

INCORRECT PRICING OF SCHEME UNITS (REPEALED)

This Guidance note has been repealed and replaced by Standard No. 17.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 5

INDUSTRY TERMS & DEFINITIONS

The main objective of standardising industry terminology is to enable investors to have a clearer understanding of financial Products and services when making investment decisions; to enable fund managers and consultants to interpret information in a like manner and produce statistics/material that is accurate and useful; and to improve efficiency within organisations when developing Offer Documents.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 6

MORTGAGE TRUSTS DISCLOSURE (REPEALED)

This Guidance Note has been repealed effective 6 August 2017.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 7

PERSONAL TRADING (REPEALED)

This Guidance Note has been repealed effective 28 March 2018.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 8

RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS (REPEALED)

This Guidance Note has been repealed effective 28 March 2018.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 9

REPORTING TO SUPERANNUATION SCHEMES BY SERVICE PROVIDERS (REPEALED)

This Guidance Note has been repealed effective 22 May 2018.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 10

BROKERAGE ARRANGEMENTS (PREVIOUSLY CALLED SOFT DOLLAR DEALING)

The main features of this Guidance Note are: to specify the principles to be adopted in relation to Investment Brokerage arrangements; to provide guidance in the interpretation and application of those principles; and to specify the basis for disclosure of Investment Manager Brokerage Arrangements.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 11

GROUP INSURANCE TAKEOVER TERMS

The main features of this Guidance Note are: to provide guidance to Financial Services Council members when cover under a current Group Insurance Policy is transferred to another insurer; and to specify when an incoming insurer becomes responsible for claims, and the acceptance terms on which it takes over the cover.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 12

EXECUTIVE EQUITY PLAN (PREVIOUSLY CALLED EXECUTIVE SHARE & OPTIONS SCHEME GUIDELINES (REPEALED)

This Guidance Note has been repealed effective 6 August 2017.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 13

EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP PLAN (PREVIOUSLY CALLED EMPLOYEE SHARE SCHEME) (REPEALED)

This Guidance Note has been repealed effective 6 August 2017.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 14

CLAIMS GUIDELINES

These guidelines are designed to provide a framework within which Insurers may choose to arrange their income protection claim processes in managing these types of claims.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 15

UNDERWRITING GUIDELINES

The underwriting guidelines are specific to disability income insurance. They have been designed to provide a framework within which insurers may conduct their underwriting processes for mental health conditions.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 16

SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT DISCLOSURE (REPEALED)

Please refer to ASIC Guidelines on socially responsible investment disclosure released 17 December 2003.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 17

swimEC FUND NOMINATION FORM (REPEALED)

This Guidance note has been repealed effective 20 March 2017. 


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 18

MANAGEMENT EXPENSE RATIO (REPEALED)

REPEALED - Guidance Note has been replaced by the Government’s Enhanced Fee Disclosure Measures (Corporations Amendment Regulations 2005), including an ‘indirect cost ratio’.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 19

ONGOING FEE MEASURE (REPEALED)

REPEALED – Guidance Note has been replaced by the Government’s Enhanced Fee Disclosure Measures (Corporations Amendment Regulations 2005), including further guidance regarding periodic statements.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 20

ASIC FEE TEMPLATE (REPEALED)

REPEALED - The Financial Services Council Board has repealed Financial Services Council Standard No. 12 - ASIC Fee Template in response to the Government introducing the Enhanced Fee Disclosure Measures (Corporations Amendment Regulations 2005) from 1 July 2005 for super products and 1 July 2006 for managed investment products.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 21

CALCULATORS – BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES

This Guidance Note has been repealed effective 5 December 2018.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 22

IT FRAUD & SECURITY GUIDELINES (REPEALED)

This Guidance Note has been repealed effective 24 July 2018.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 23

FINANCIAL SERVICES COUNCIL MAJOR DISASTER PLAN (REPEALED)

This Guidance Note has been repealed effective 24 July 2018.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 24

AML/CTF & FATCA FORMS (FSC/FPA)

26 May 2017: This Guidance Note was updated in May 2017.

The Guidance Note is also accompanied by 13 forms (Schedules) designed to assist in managing customer identification obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act and certain customer due diligence obligations under the (United States) Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (described as “FATCA”). The 13 forms which are available on request from FSC are:

CUSTOMER ID FORMS

Schedule 1: Individuals & Sole Traders

Schedule 2: Australian Companies

Schedule 3: Foreign Companies

Schedule 4: Australian Regulated Trusts

Schedule 5: Unregulated Australian Trusts & Foreign Trusts

Schedule 6: Partnerships & Partners

Schedule 7: Associations

Schedule 8: Registered co-operatives

Schedule 9: Government bodies

Schedule 10: Verifying Officer

US TAX STATUS DECLARATION FORMS

Schedule 11: US Tax Status Declaration Form – Individuals

Schedule 12: Tax Status Declaration Form - Individuals

Schedule 13: Foreign Tax Status Declaration Form – Entities

FSC Members (free):

  • For free copies of the 13 forms, FSC members may contact Sharon Sherry of the FSC at ssherry@fsc.org.au or on (02) 9299 3022.

Non-Members (licence):

  • Non-members may use, adopt or access the forms under licence. For information on the licence terms and licence fee, please contact FSC at info@fsc.org.au or on (02) 9299 3022.

Copyright in the forms is owned by the FSC and the Financial Planning Association. The FSC and FPA permit non-members to use the forms upon payment of the applicable licence fee.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 25

PRODUCT PERFORMANCE: CALCULATION OF AFTER-TAX RETURNS

The main features of this Guidance Note are to specify the principles to be adopted when calculating After-tax returns; facilitate accurate comparisons amongst Products; provide guidance in the interpretation and application of those principles; and to standardise the practices, procedures and terminology relating to the calculation of After-tax returns.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 26

ASSET VALUATION FOR INFREQUENTLY VALUED ASSETS

The purpose of this Guidance Note is to specify the principles for asset valuation in the calculation of unit prices when transactions may take place in Schemes which are substantially invested in infrequently valued assets; to provide guidance in the interpretation and application of those principles and to standardise the practices and procedures relating to the pricing of interests in such Schemes. 

The latest version of this Guidance Note incorporates changes to accommodate the introduction of FSC Standard 8A: Crediting Rates.  For further information or to obtain a marked up copy, please contact FSC Senior Counsel.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 27

INCOME STREAM REPORTING SCHEDULES

This Guidance Note has been repealed effective 22 May 2018.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 28

VARIED REDEMPTION ARRANGEMENTS

This Guidance Note has been repealed effective 24 July 2018.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 29

STANDARD RISK MEASURE GUIDANCE PAPER FOR TRUSTEES

The purpose of the Standard Risk Measure Guidance Paper is to provide guidance to superannuation funds on the calculation and disclosure of superannuation investment risk to fund members. The Guidance Paper has been jointly developed by the FSC and ASFA and its adoption is strongly recommended by APRA and ASIC.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 30

ESG REPORTING GUIDE FOR AUSTRALIAN COMPANIES

In February 2016, the FSC and ACSI launched the second ESG Reporting Guide for Australian Companies (2015). The Guide highlights the minimum information and reasonable data requirements that are needed for our member organisations to successfully price, analyse and manage Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investment risks.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 31

PROVISIONING FOR DEFERRED TAX ASSETS

This Guidance Note was prepared by the FSC Unit Pricing Working Group. This Guidance Note is to be used by Scheme Operators when formulating and applying a policy for the treatment of Deferred Tax Assets (DTA). This Guidance Note will have specific application when calculating the DTA for unit pricing purposes.

The latest version of this Guidance Note incorporates changes to accommodate the introduction of FSC Standard 8A: Crediting Rates.  For further information or to obtain a marked up copy, please contact FSC Senior Counsel.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 32

HIV/AIDS UNDERWRITING GUIDELINES

The main purpose of this Guidance Note is to provide background and guidance for FSC Members relating to underwriting in respect of insurance applicants with HIV/AIDS or insurance applicants who engage in activities which can represent a significantly above-average risk of leading to a subsequent infection.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 33

BEST PRACTICE FOR GROUP INSURANCE DATA


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 34

FEES AND COST DISCLOSURE

To provide industry participants with guidance in relation to the requirements for calculating and disclosing fees and costs in product disclosure statements and periodic statements.

UPDATE: January 2018

In December 2017, the IWG released its first iteration of Guidance on RG 97. Please click here for further information and to access the Guidance. 

 


PERSONAL INVESTMENT TECHNOLOGY TASK FORCE STANDARD (PITTF) (REPEALED)

This has been repealed effective 20 March 2017.  


GUIDANCE NOTE CIRCULAR

NON-BINDING SHAREHOLDER VOTES ON REMUNERATION REPORTS (REPEALED)

This Guidance Note has been repealed effective 6 August 2017.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 35

MONEY MARKET FUNDS NAMING CONVENTION

This Guidance Note sets out features of two types of money market funds to demonstrate which funds are permitted to use the words ‘money market’, ‘cash’, ‘liquid’, ‘ready assets’ or similar terms, in their name.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 36

LIFE INSURANCE INDUSTRY DATA COLLECTION POLICY

Refer to FSC Standard No. 25 Life Insurance Industry Data Collection Policy.

This Guidance Note will become repealed in place of FSC Standard 25 above, on the event of the third industry-led data collection.


GUIDANCE NOTE NO. 37

TEMPLATE OPERATIONAL DUE DILIGENCE QUESTIONNAIRE

This Guidance Note provides a questionnaire-styled standardised template for use by fund managers when undertaking Due Diligence investigations.

To download the FSC/AIST FAQs click here.