The wealth management sector has seen much growth and innovation, both in terms of products and service delivery. An example of the latter is the robo-adviser. At the same time, financial crises have highlighted deficits in investor protection frameworks for retail investors. The private law, including the law of tort, contract and equity, has a role to play in this framework but many jurisdictions have opted to supplement private law rights with more specific regulation. The challenge is calibrating this framework to provide optimum protection without stifling positive growth and innovation. A variety of substantive tools can be used, including salient disclosure of product information and conduct standards on financial advisers as well as product issuers that emphasise suitability and the best interests of the investor. The substantive framework needs to be complemented by effective enforcement, which embraces both regulatory action and accessible private dispute resolution mechanisms.
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