Posts in General Publication
Fintech Business Awards 2019

Smarter Compliance. Last month, the finalists for the 2019 Fintech Business Awards were revealed by Momentum Media, the publisher of Fintech Business. Assured Support was thrilled to be named as a finalist in two categories ("Compliance Innovator of the Year" and "Software Innovator of the Year"). We’ve simply been too busy delivering innovative compliance solutions to acknowledge the honour, but we appreciate that usefulness and effectiveness can sometimes offset the lack of a sales and marketing team. It's a strong field and one that shows the depth and quality of Australian FinTech Industry. 

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Fintech Business Awards 2018

The finalists for the 2018 Fintech Business Awards were revealed earlier this week by Momentum Media, the publisher of Fintech Business. Assured Support was thrilled to be named as a finalist in two categories ("Compliance Innovator of the Year" and "Software Innovator of the Year"). It's a strong field and one that shows the depth and quality of Australian FinTech Industry. 

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Who watches the watchers?

ASIC Report 515 "Financial advice: Review of how large institutions oversee their advisers" reported on ASIC's review of 160 client files that had previously been reviewed by the Licensees themselves and identified the discrepancies. Conflicts, capability and culture are the main problems but systems, processes and purposes also have significant impact. (Our companion post addresses systems, processes and purposes in more detail)

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Three New Year's Resolutions (You can make and keep)

If you are a compliance and risk professional, you probably often feel different to the people around you. But like millions of other workers, you probably also capped off 2016 with a brief burst of reflection and committed yourself to doing some things differently in 2017. Congratulations for taking the lead. If your champagne-sodden resolutions were no more specific than “have a better year” this article presents three practical steps you can take to significantly improve your performance in 2017.

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Selling Compliance: The critical role of Compliance Managers

Smarter Compliance. It's difficult for most people to appreciate the particular and ongoing challenges faced by Compliance Managers in financial services. The role itself, and the contribution it makes to the business by whom they are employed, is often a subject of heated debate. I've been lucky enough to work under leaders whose support and engagement with Compliance was a natural and inevitable outgrowth of their ethical values and deep commitment to the wellbeing of their staff, clients and brand. I've also worked under, and with, a great many people with alternative approaches. This post contextualises the role of the Compliance Managers and outlines some strategies that Compliance Managers can use to help achieve their potential.

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7 ways to pick a better Adviser (Part One)

Most Australians would significantly benefit from receiving financial advice, but relatively few ever receive the financial advice they need. Cost, complexity, inconvenience and apathy all play their part, but consumer apprehension, the fear of being “ripped off”, is also a significant contributor to this outcome. This article won’t provide personal recommendations, but it will outline seven practical considerations that would help identify a better financial adviser. Individually, none of them is sufficient, but together these seven aspects will help weed out the pretenders and point consumers in the direction of the professional advice they need.

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Gliding over all: Beyond Banking Bad

Although it’s difficult to assess its impact on the broader community, there is little doubt that Four Corners’ “expose” of Commonwealth Financial Planning generated contemplation, conversation and consternation in the financial services industry. The recent story “Banking Bad” by Adele Ferguson and Deb Masters focused on the sales-driven culture inside the Commonwealth Bank's financial planning division; but it also raised additional questions about the structure and composition of the broader advice industry.

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Crises of culture

A recent report on the financial services industry noted that while industry executives "champion the importance of ethical conduct …. they struggle to see the benefits of greater adherence to ethical standards". So how do we reconcile statements that "ethical conduct is just as important as financial success at their firm" with acknowledgements "that strict adherence to such codes [makes] career progression difficult." What does this contradiction really mean for Compliance Managers and shareholders?

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Commonwealth Financial Planning v Couper: An Insider’s view

Martin Culleton, a Partner with regional law firm RMB lawyers, was the solicitor for Noel Stevens (and then the estate of Noel Stevens) who took on Commonwealth Financial Planning over inappropriate advice, secured a decision in his client’s favour and successfully defended CFP’s appeal against the initial judgment. In this post Culleton talks about Commonwealth Financial Planning v Couper, compliance, conflict and the specific challenges faced by advisers within vertically integrated businesses.

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Hanging out with Nudists: Data, Tech and the Privacy Act

In Australia, 12 March 2014 marked the commencement of a more robust privacy regime for businesses and organisations as changes to Privacy Act 1988 commenced. From this date 10 National Privacy Principles and 11 Information Privacy Principles were harmonised into 13 Australian Privacy Principles. Heralded as “the most significant privacy reform in 25 years” the practical impact of these changes varied significantly across the financial services industry. This article outlines the context of these changes and practical steps for compliance with the new APP.

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The Compliance Audit: Ten "red flags" for Reviewers

Despite the recent coverage, there’s no fraud epidemic in financial services; but it’s inarguable that the increased reporting undermines public confidence in the advice profession. Licensees (and advisers) need to do more to detect, prevent and mitigate adviser fraud. Here are ten "red flags" for which you should look.

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