Posts tagged ASIC
AFSL Fundamentals: Self-licensing

Smarter Compliance. As 2019 draws to a close, many advisers (and some licensees) are being forced to consider their futures. It’s a daunting task given the costs, consequences and implications of any decision they make. An increasing number of advisers think that self-licensing will provide them with the autonomy, financial security and other benefits they need to properly serve their clients. In this article we’ll try to sublimate our self-interest and provide the relevant information advisers need to decide whether self-licensing is an option for them.

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The cost of conduct risk

Smarter Compliance. Rep 515 “Financial advice: Review of how large institutions oversee their advisers” is the gist that keeps on giving. While it’s a gift that many would have returned immediately, there’s little doubt of its influence on the financial services industry - directly and as magnified by the Royal Commission. While it led to extensive changes in the financial advice industry including fragmentation, re-alignment and the increasingly definite separation of advice from product, it has reinforced the significant costs and obligations associated with providing advice. This article avoids prediction in favour of a simple discussion of the latest update and its implication for independent Licensees.

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AFSL Fundamentals: A quick guide to Professional Indemnity

Smarter compliance. While disclosure and effective governance may assist you to secure Professional Indemnity Insurance, securing adequate cover requires vigilance and careful consideration. We explore the minefield of Professional Indemnity Insurance with the expert guidance of Greg Hansen, Director of Professional Risks at Austbrokers Countrywide. This guide for Licensees may assist you to both understand ASIC’s requirements and your Licensee obligations. It may also help you find better cover. 

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An auditor's view of conflicted advice (SMSF)

Smarter Compliance. The conflicts between interests and duties was an issue frequently touched on by the Royal Commission. In fact, observers might suggest that all the misconduct and mismanagement exposed was caused by conflicts of these sort. In this article, an auditor tackles the issue form a practical perspective and explores the best way to handle conflicts of interest and duty.

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Competence, Capability and Courage

Smarter Compliance. Assured Support has long argued for the need to collectively develop a capability framework for the compliance staff. Luckily, we are laser focused on this, and have developed a capability framework covering both technical and non-technical skills. This article looks at the reasons why this is necessary and provides a structured path forward.

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June Update: Onward, ever upward

Smarter compliance. Welcome to the July 2019 update. We have big news. The financial service industry is highly regulated and surprisingly dynamic. Thankfully, the team behind our industry-leading compliance platform ensures openAFSL evolves even quicker. Regulators know that there’s a serious gap between what the law requires and what most Licensees manage to do - openAFSL helps you bridge that gap at a reasonable cost.

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Westpac and the Laws of (advice) Robotics

Smarter Compliance. The financial advice market is, depending on your perspective, either evolving or being disrupted. Technology - digital advice - presents a compelling alternative to the expense and risk of traditional distribution models. But, before we despair about the unfairness of replacing advisers with computers and algorithms (or celebrate the emergence of an objective and unbiased advice service) it’s important to appreciate that the models have similar issues and that while the nature of regulation may change, it’s as essential as it is now.

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Culture, capability and comparison

Smarter Compliance. Compliance used to be a simple process of ‘box ticking’ and commercial obstructionism but now it’s expected to embrace ethics, efficiency and ‘culture’. As the compliance function broadens its focus ,and secures its footing as a practitioner of a strategic management discipline, Compliance Managers are being asked to define or articulate the rules and values against which their business will be assessed. The difficulty is that it’s extraordinarily difficult to assess culture. This article provides eight points that might suggest a good compliance culture.

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Management and Consequence Management

Smarter Compliance. The Regulators’ focus on large institutions, and APRA’s self-assessment initiative, identified consistent deficiencies in the way Licensees respond to incidents, breaches and non-compliance. Consequence Management is not a complete solution (monitoring, supervision and remediation are equally important) but focusing on consequence management is an effective and efficient way to create and maintain a good corporate 'culture'. Properly applied, it may also spare you adverse publicity. 

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Where FASEA gets it right: Training and Competency

Smarter Compliance. Effective education and ongoing training is the bedrock of every profession. So how can an advice profession emerge from an industry that prefers validation and convenience over development, engagement and deliberate practice? In our view, it can’t. In this article, we explore Continuing Professional Development from a different perspective - the sustainability of advice businesses - and argue that FASEA are right to push for tailored, engaging and challenging CPD.

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APRA, risk and ‘boiling frogs’

Smarter Compliance. In May 2019, APRA released an Information Paper reporting on the results of self-assessments performed by 36 financial institutions. Focusing on governance, accountability and culture, the responses indicated that CBA is not an outlier and that the issues that exposed them to public and regulatory criticism, are also present in their competitors and peers. Perhaps, the only differences are time and orders of magnitude. This article references the report and offers suggestions to those Licensees hoping to improve their culture, governance and compliance framework.

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A Change is Gonna Come: ASIC in action

Smarter Compliance. ASIC’s report 615 “ASIC Enforcement Update July to December 2018” provides a snapshot of the prosecutions, bannings and investigations they undertook. It’s an impressive list but is, in our view, a low water-mark for 2019 activity. With increased funding, a bigger and better toolkit and a renewed willingness to act, ASIC seem to be better positioned to effectively, efficiently and consistently regulate the financial advice industry. Expect a king-tide of regulatory activity in 2019.

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Regulatory "jazz hands": FASEA's Code of Ethics

Smarter Compliance. FASEA Code of Ethics is more a “set of principles and core values” than detailed rules, but it’s a principles based model that provides the parameters for ethical and professional conduct. It’s driven by admirable intent but the ambition and inchoate aspirations of the Code of Ethics threatens the sustainability of the profession it hopes to shape and confirm. This article ponders the inconsistency between the laws and the Code and highlights three ways that its more impractical provisions may affect the emerging advice profession.

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April Update: Coaching, comparison and clarity

Smarter compliance. Welcome to the April 2019 update. We have big news. The financial service industry is highly regulated and surprisingly dynamic. Thankfully, the team behind our industry-leading compliance platform ensures openAFSL evolves even quicker. Regulators know that there’s a serious gap between what the law requires and what most Licensees manage to do - openAFSL helps you bridge that gap at a reasonable cost.

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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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"A game of snakes and ladders": FASEA, degrees and equivalent qualifications

Smarter Compliance. In a previous article we discussed Continuing Professional Development requirements under the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA). In this article, we’re focusing on qualifications and, in particular, the completion of a bachelor or higher degree, or equivalent qualification, approved by the standards body. FASEA’s requirements appear deceptively simple, but the path to compliance with their requirements can conceal dead-ends, reversals and unanticipated complexity. Assured Support can guide you through.

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Advice in 2019: Where too much change is never enough

Smarter Compliance. 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for financial services lawyers, business brokers and stress counsellors. Advisers have long accepted that the financial services industry is highly regulated and frequently changing, but the sheer scale and speed of reforms planned for 2019 is potentially overwhelming. We can’t do much about the rate of change, but we can alert you to the recently released Consumer Data Right rules, warn you about proposed changes to the Privacy Act to better protect (vulnerable) consumers and prepare you for the impact of new Design and Distribution obligations.

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Our Gap Year: Comprehension, Compliance and Capacity.

Smarter Compliance. In March 2019, ASIC released Report 614 titled “Financial advice: Mind the gap” summarising their research into consumer understanding of the differences between general and personal advice. No responsible licensee would be surprised to learn that ASIC’s research identified “substantial gaps in consumer comprehension”. These weren’t the only gaps that concerned ASIC and this article also considers ASIC’s response to AMP Financial Planning and SMSF Advisers Network.

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Banking on fear: ASIC's new focus

Smarter Compliance. The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry may not have delivered Bankers in handcuffs but its legacy is likely to be more profound. The criticism ASIC attracted for embracing deference over deterrence and their timidity and ineffectiveness was painful for those of us that value compliance, obey the law and recognise the need for a fearless, effective and consistent regulator. ASIC endured the public criticism and have emerged with a renewed vigour and with the people, powers and purpose they need to restore confidence and deter misconduct. This article addresses the relevant changes and their implications. We also offer seven immediate priorities for Licensees looking down the barrel of these changes.

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