Standards & Guidance

Financial Services Council 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.

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Guidance Note No. 1 - Global Investment Performance StandardsShow

    • 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).

      Financial Services Council Guidance Note 1

Guidance Note No. 2 - Financial Services Council Blue Book - Corporate Governance: A guide for Fund Managers and Corporations Show

    • The guidelines are published to assist Financial Services Council members to promote improved company performance by ensuring Australian companies have sound corporate governance structures. This Form has been issued by Financial Services Council and the FPA as guidance to assist reporting entities in meeting their obligations to identify clients under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006. Neither Financial Services Council nor the FPA warrant that the Form meets all relevant obligations under the law.

      Financial Services Council Guidance Note 2

Guidance Note No. 3 - Financial Reporting (Repealed)Show

    • This Guidance Note has been repealed due to the harmonisation and adoption of international accounting standards by the AASB.

Guidance Note No. 4 - Incorrect Pricing of Scheme Units (Repealed)Show

    • This Guidance note has been repealed and replaced by Standard No. 17.

Guidance Note No. 5 - Industry Terms and DefinitionsShow

    • 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.

      Financial Services Council Guidance No. 5 - 117K

Guidance Note No. 6 - Mortgage Trusts DisclosureShow

    • The main features of this Guidance Note are: to establish minimum disclosure requirements relating to Scheme's who invest predominantly in Mortgage Investments; to standardise the framework by which certain information is considered by Scheme Managers as it relates to Mortgage Trusts; and to specify minimum disclosures in Scheme Offering Documents and financial statements.

      Financial Services Council Guidance No. 6 - 42K

Guidance Note No. 7 - Personal TradingShow

    • The main features of the Guidance Notes are to: specify the principles to be adopted in relation to the conduct of Personal Trading; provide guidance in the interpretation and application of those principles; standardise the practices and procedures relating to the conduct of Personal Trading; and specify the basis of suitable compliance of such Personal Trading activities.

      Financial Services Council Guidance No. 7 - 41K

Guidance Note No. 8 - Related Party TransactionsShow

    • This main features of this Guidance Note are: to specify the principles to be adopted in relation to the conduct of a Related Party Transaction between a Scheme and a party related to the Scheme or in Scheme interests by, or on behalf of, a Related Party; to provide guidance in the interpretation and application of those principles; to standardise the practices and procedures relating to the conduct of Related Party Transactions; and to specify the basis of proper disclosure of such Related Party Transactions.

      Financial Services Council Guidance No. 8 - 55K

Guidance Note No. 9 - Reporting To Superannuation Schemes by Service ProvidersShow

    • To assist service providers in the presentation of financial and taxation information to Superannuation Scheme Trustees; To ensure that sufficient information is given to Trustees, so that they may efficiently and effectively perform their duties; and To specify the minimum Trustee reporting requirements and/or industry best practice.

      Financial Services Council Guidance No. 9 - 50K

Guidance Note No. 10 - Brokerage Arrangements (previously called Soft Dollar Dealing)Show

Guidance Note No. 11 - Group Insurance Takeover TermsShow

    • 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.

      11GN Group Takeover Terms_FINAL Revised GN 11 Approved 9 May 2013 FINAL

Guidance Note No. 12 - Executive Equity Plan (previously called Executive Share and Option Scheme Guidelines)Show

    • This Guidance Note was recently updated in April 2007. Guidance Note No. 12 provides guidance for Boards and shareholders regarding the development of equity plans that aim to drive improved corporate performance and thereby increase shareholder value. The guidelines specify key principles that Boards should consider in designing incentive plans and the process for shareholder approval of the plans.

      Financial Services Council Guidance No. 12 - 67K

Guidance Note No. 13 - Employee Share Ownership Plan (previously called Employee Share Scheme)Show

    • This Guidance Note was recently updated in April 2007. Guidance Note No. 13 provides guidance for Boards and shareholders regarding the development of employee ownership and incentive plans that aim to drive improved company performance and thereby increase shareholder value. The guidelines specify key principles that Boards should consider when designing these plans and the process for shareholder approval of the plans.

      Financial Services Council Guidance No. 13 - 38K

Guidance Note No.14 - Claims GuidelinesShow

Guidance Note No. 15 - Underwriting GuidelinesShow

REMOVED Guidance Note No. 16 - Socially Responsible Investment DisclosureShow

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

Guidance Note No. 17 - swimEC Fund Nomination FormShow

    • The Fund Nomination Form is designed to be pre populated by a Superannuation Provider (SP) to aid SPs provide employees with all the bank account details required to enable superannuation choice of Fund. The Complying Fund letter, from the trustee, provides an employee with the required 'complying fund' and 'ability to accept contributions' statements.

      Financial Services Council Guidance No. 17 - 98K

REPEALED Guidance Note No. 18 - Management Expense RatioShow

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

REPEALED Guidance Note No. 19 - Ongoing Fee MeasureShow

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

REPEALED Guidance Note No. 20 - ASIC Fee TemplateShow

    • 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 GuidelinesShow

    • Guidance Note No. 21 applies to the providers of calculators that are designed for use directly by consumers, without the aid of a licensed financial planner. It recommends ways in which these companies should approach a range of assumptions, so they might be applied in a reasonably consistent giving users ‘like’ results, based on the same key facts. Through this Guidance Note, Financial Services Council hopes to increase the comparability of calculators across the industry and maximise the educational benefit for users.

      Financial Services Council Guidance No. 21 - 55K

Guidance Note No.22 - IT Fraud and Security GuidelinesShow

    • Main features of this Guidance Note are to provide a starting position to assist Financial Services Council members in reviewing and assessing their Fraud and Security position relating to Information Technology (“IT Fraud and Security”), particularly as they impact both on consumers of financial products and on Financial Services Council members, and to encourage good practice in respect of IT Fraud and Security by identifing the key principles that can be used to address IT Fraud and Security concerns. Financial Services Council Guidance No. 22.

      Financial Services Council Guidance No. 22 - 73K

Guidance Note No.23 - Financial Services Council Major Disaster PlanShow

    • Guidance Note No. 23 establishes a more formal mechanism to enable consistent messages to be conveyed to member companies and consumers in times of crisis. The Financial Services Council Major Disaster Plan complements, but does not replace, Financial Services Council members respective business continuity planning.

      Financial Services Council Guidance No. 23 - 67K

Guidance Note No. 24 - Financial Services Council/FPA Guidance on managing mutual obligations under Chapter 7 of the AML/CTF RulesShow

Guidance Note No. 25 - Product Performance: Calculation of After-Tax ReturnsShow

    • 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 applicaiton of those principles; and to standardise the practices, procedures and terminology relating to the calculation of After-tax returns.

      Financial Services Council Guidance No. 25 - 115K

Guidance Note No. 26 - Asset Valuation for Infrequently Valued AssetsShow

    • 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.

      Financial Services Council Guidance Note 26

Guidance Note No. 27 - Income Sream Reporting Schedules Show

    • The purpose of this Guidance Note is: To assist income stream providers with the preparation of system generated reports for income stream products that can be used for the purposes of both Centrelink and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (“DVA”). To provide clarification regarding the information to be reported for income streams for the purposes of both Centrelink and DVA. To ensure consistent reporting by income stream providers. Financial Services Council Guidance Note No. 27 Income Stream Reporting Schedules

      Guidance Note No. 27 - Income Sream Reporting Schedules

Guidance Note No. 28 - Varied Redemption ArrangementsShow

Guidance Note No. 29 - Standard Risk Measure Guidance Paper For TrusteesShow

    • 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.

      Financial Services Council Guidance Note 29

Guidance Note No. 30 - ESG Reporting Guide for Australian CompaniesShow

    • On 4 August 2011, the FSC and ACSI launched the ESG Reporting Guide for Australian Companies. An Australian first, 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.

      Financial Services Council Guidance Note 30

Guidance Note No. 31 - Provisioning for Deferred Tax AssetsShow

    • 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.

      GN31- Provisioning for Deferred Tax Assets

Guidance Note No. 32 - HIV/AIDS Underwriting GuidelinesShow

    • 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.

Personal Investment Technology Task Force Standard (PITTF)Show

    • The Personal Investment Technology Task Force (PITTF) was established in 1996 as a joint working group between the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the Investment Funds Association (IFA). The objective of PITTF was to oversee the implementation of principles outlined in the 1996 Electronic Commerce Development Plan. The PITTF Standards and other documents, whilst not formerly adopted by Financial Services Council, provide a useful insight into the history of the development of ecommerce in the industry.

      PITTF Standard - 7K

Guidance Note Circular - Non-binding Shareholder Vote on Remuneration ReportsShow

    • The purpose in developing this Guidance Note Circular is to provide further guidance to members making decisions on how to vote on remuneration reports. When read in conjunction with Financial Services Council’s Blue Book – Corporate Governance – A Guide for Fund Managers and Corporations, the Note should assist companies to formulate remuneration policies and remuneration reports that are received positively by shareholders, both in Australia and offshore. Furthermore, Financial Services Council believes this Note will assist in ensuring that the benefits from the non-binding vote are realised, including improved communication between shareholders and companies and improved construction and disclosure of remuneration practices, resulting in greater transparency in the Australian sharemarket.

      Guidance Note Circular - Non-binding Shareholder Votes on Remuneration Reports - 61K

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