Disclosure documentation could be sent via email and the internet, under a proposal being considered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). ASIC has released a consultation paper on the facilitation of online disclosure as part of the retail investor taskforce’s aim to improve access to financial services information.

“We want to facilitate access to financial information in the format that investors find most useful,” says Jeremy Cooper, ASIC’s deputy chairman and head of the retail investor taskforce. “We believe that technology can enable more effective communication about financial services and empower consumers.” Under the proposal, providers would be allowed to send clients an email with a hyperlink to the relevant information, or notify them via email that the information is available and provide instructions on where it can be found.

In its consultation paper, ASIC acknowledges that web-based disclosure may expose consumers to risk, including internet scams or fraud. “However, on balance, we think the advantages of using email and the internet to send information outweigh the disadvantages,” the document notes.

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