Posts in Resources
Curated Content: AI and ethics

Smarter Compliance. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning have had less immediate impact than some participants predicted, but they're also likely to have a more profound impact over time than other participants expect. If you’re fascinated by AI but terrified of Skynet, these reports may provide you with the reassurance and false confidence you need.

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Easter Reading: Greased Pigs and "damned fine coffee"

Smarter Compliance. In the current environment of declining margins, increased scrutiny and looming transformational change, it’s sometimes challenging to maintain enthusiasm and momentum. The key to both is being properly prepared. In a changing and complex environment, the secret to success is assured support. In this article, we offer you three resources that provide three compelling reasons to review, refine and improve your compliance arrangements. Take the opportunity now. If you need help, reach out.

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ASIC Update: Fees-for-no-service (FFNS)

Smarter Compliance. It may be tempting for some Licensees to dismiss Fee-for-No-Service (FFNS) issues as problems for institutional businesses alone. The reality is quite different. Any business that receives fees or payments for ongoing service has an obligation to provide those services. This article outlines five (5) steps every Licensee should contemplate to identify and address any FFNS issues in their business.

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Cruel but fair: ASIC's new powers

Smarter Compliance. The Senate recently passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (Strengthening Corporate and Financial Sector Penalties) Bill 2018. It amends the Corporations Act 2001Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 and Insurance Contracts Act 1984 and introduces a stronger penalty framework for corporate and financial sector misconduct.

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Compliance Basics: Ask before you authorise

Smarter Compliance. You may be aware, and the Royal Commission confirmed, that some Institutional Licensees appointed advisers that a more prudent Licensee would not have appointed. The difficulty, we were told, was that before the ABA published their 2018 protocols, there was no agreed process for reference checking. This post doesn’t dwell on the credibility of some licensees’ failures to adopt HB 322-2007 “Reference Checking in the Financial Services Industry” but instead offers three resources that might help those licensees committed to acting efficiently, honestly and fairly.

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"Don't let me be misunderstood": Conflicts, professionalism and advice

Smarter Compliance. In previous articles we've addressed the limitations of disclosure, RG181, s961J and the seemingly inevitable tendency for advice businesses to subordinate their clients' interests to their own. Conflicts exist in all commercial enterprises but the challenge for businesses providing financial advice is the effective and efficient management of these conflicts. The question seldom asked is whether these conflicts can ever be effectively and efficiently managed. This article introduces relevant research, including the research paper submitted to the Royal Commission by Professor Sunita Sah.

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Curated Content: Ignorance, hope and HODL

CURATED CONTENT: Despite the provocative nature of this article, we don’t have a particular view on Bitcoin, Ethereum and the various ICOs that attract investors’ attention. While we’re happy to skewer the more pretentious and ridiculous views, we have “strong opinions, loosely held” on cryptocurrencies. Given that advisers and investors are still intrigued by cryptocurrency, we’ve identified five sources that we find are particularly useful.

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Understanding compliance: The soundtrack

Most compliance people go through life with a song in their hearts and we’re no different (except are hearts and heads are stuffed with tangentially relevant pop music). Because no-one demanded it, we've made our playlist available to everyone. Our playlist contains every song referenced in our articles - even those you might not have identified. Enjoy the playlist and, if you find songs that we've omitted to include, please let us know.

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Design and Distribution Obligations: Better get a lawyer

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Powers) Bill 2018 may represent the most significant reform of financial services since the Financial Services Reform Act. The Bill threatens to reframe the development, distribution and enforcement of financial products and equips ASIC with a range of new enforcement options.This presentation provides a high level introduction to the Bill.

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Industry recognition: Compliance and Thought Leadership

The ifa Excellence Awards are the only program benchmarking the success of the independent advice sector in Australia. In fact, most advisers regard ifa as the most trusted source of financial services news. We appreciate ifa recognising us for our thought leadership and other work - Compliance. Risk Management. Licensing. Adviser Reviews. Advice Coaching. Licensee Reviews. Due Diligence. Technology. Investigations. Remediation. Workshops. Dispute Resolution. Training. Policies and Standards. Presentations. 

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Managed Accounts Presentation

Managed Accounts are becoming increasingly popular, but some advisers (and compliance experts) struggle to understand the different options and how they’re regulated. This presentation is a modified version of one of our relevant training presentations. It focuses on Managed Discretionary Accounts but provides a useful overview of the topic. If you need more, contact us directly.

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Curated Content: ASIC, reg-tech and advisers' needs

With focus on netwealth’s “AdviceTech Research Report” and the Banking Royal Commission, we try to explain the growing interest in reg-tech amongst forward-looking licensees. After watching larger financial institutions demonstrate the value of compliance by highlighting the cost of its absence, smaller licensees may be seeing this as an investment in their sustainability and a hedge against ASIC’s views of ‘poor risk cultures’.

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Curated Content: The Future of Advice

Robo-advice, and other technological applications, may have had less immediate impact than some participants predicted, but they're also likely to have a more profound impact than other participants expect. It's difficult to predict the future so we offer you some tools and insights to assist you - Starting with John McDuling's "Behind Spaceship's ASIC fine: drama, tension and false funding news"  we add Gartners 'hype cycle', Mercer's Robo-advice report and Wired's excellent article "Beware of Roboadvisors Bearing Low Fees" 

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Conflicting views: Identifying interests and influences

CURATED CONTENT: Conflicts exist in all commercial enterprises and, in businesses providing fiduciary-like services, can manifest in ways apart from group product recommendations and preferential remuneration. Referral arrangements, APL construction and service choices (for example, managed accounts) can, and often are, situations where the interests of the licensee conflict with the clients' interests. This article introduces three sources we've found useful for identifying conflicts and considering how to manage those that can't be avoided. 

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ifa Business Strategy Day

n March 2018, one of our team, Sean Graham, will be presenting a session at the ifa Business Strategy Day titled "Legislative Update: The rise of regtech and the art of the SoA". Positioned as an "update on the compliance and legislative landscape", the session aims to challenge industry assumptions about disclosure, independence and professionalism and demonstrate why an investment in regulatory technology is critical for sustainability. 

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Cryptocurrencies, AML and 'moral panic'.

Curated content. We're nerds. We're fascinated by our industry and its themes, issues and potential. We also appreciate that consistent and applied study is the key to being innovative, relevant and effective. This post is our cryptocurrency reading list and the post includes links so you can download the material and join in the conversation.

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Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and regulation

Curated content. We're nerds. We're fascinated by our industry and its themes, issues and potential. We also appreciate that consistent and applied study is the key to being innovative, relevant and effective. This post is our cryptocurrency reading list and the post includes links so you can download the material and join in the conversation.

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Rivers of Gold: Conflicts of Interest and Industry Super

"Rivers of Gold: How the Trade Union Movement is funded by Industry Super" is a 2017 report by Morgan Begg and Simon Breheny published by the Institute of Public Affairs. Those of us working in retail financial services have at least a passing familiarity with both the 'sole purpose' test and with conflicts of interest. This report suggests that the Industry Funds would benefit from some remedial training on these issues.

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