Over the last few months, you will probably have seen some media articles on what are now referred to as ‘finfluencers’. These are people who advise on financial products, and ASIC’s concern has been that they do not hold the necessary licences.
The recent ASIC commentary doesn’t cover property or cryptocurrencies. Interestingly, ASIC concerns regarding influencers have to a degree been mirrored by the present Victorian state government’s review of the property market.
The current review of the property market is also dealing with influencers in the marketing of property; in particular, the consultation paper states:
New marketing practices for property have also emerged since the 2016 amendments. Increasingly, purchasers may be directed toward properties available for sale through ‘influencer marketing’ and advertisements that purport to be general ‘investment advice’. In both of these cases, purchasers may be exposed to content which is, in fact, an advertisement for a property available for sale, but where no ESP is disclosed or Statement of Information provided.
ASIC warned the providers of financial advice that they must ensure the influencers comply with the federal laws regarding the delivery of financial services products. The effect of the current laws is that in the financial services market, the organisation that engages the influencer can also be fined or prosecuted.
It will be interesting to see whether the state government tries to regulate influencers in the property market. The controls that might come into force may be:
- The influencer may need to hold an estate agent’s or estate agent’s representative licence.
- The influencer may need to provide information regarding the property, like the estimated selling price or statement of information.
An update will be released alongside the recommendations of the state government property market review – in May/June of this year.
For further information please contact the author, or any member of our Corporate & Commercial team.
This information and the contents of this publication, current as at the date of publication, is general in nature to offer assistance to Cornwalls’ clients, prospective clients and stakeholders, and is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal or financial advice. If you are concerned about any topic covered, we recommend that you seek your own specific legal and financial advice before taking any action.