Posts tagged Best Interests
Bridging the Gap: Best Interests and formal compliance

Smarter compliance. Best Interests. Safe Harbours. Client Priority. All the drama with the Royal Commission has distracted attention from the only issue that really matters - To what extent are advisers acting in their clients’ best interests. The short answer from us is that the best advisers have never wavered from their ethical and professional commitment to act objectively in the interests of their clients. For these advice professionals, the best interest duty, simply reconfirmed their approach to advice, service and care. This might not be the case for all advisers. This article explores these issues with reference to both the #BankingRC Final report and Hub24’s excellent 2019 report “The Adviser’s Best Interests Duty: Creating Better Advice.”

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Why most SMSF advice sucks: Five common errors

Smarter Compliance. Since their introduction in 1999, the popularity of the SMSF has remained relatively constant despite the ups and downs experienced within the share market, housing market and industry. We review a lot of advice. While our experience with SMSF doesn’t entirely accord with ASIC’s view that 90% of SMSF advice is ‘poor’, we have noticed some common issues in the advice we have reviewed. This article discusses five elements you need to address to ensure that your SMSF advice doesn’t “suck”.

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Honesty, integrity and best interests

If you're an advice professional, you know that misconduct, mismanagement and consistently critical media coverage has undermined confidence in our industry and led calls for increased regulation. We have the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry and, recently, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission pursued two high profile matters based, to a large degree, on the Licensees' failures to ensure that their representatives complied with the law and complied with their 'best interest' duties. In this article we take a constructively critical look at the duty, the conduct that necessitated it and the practicalities of satisfying your professional duties. (Hint - disclosure is not enough).

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What was and what will be: Let's talk some more about compliance

We previously wrote about ASIC's 2018 enforcement activity, and with the publication of ASIC's second-half report, we thought it would be a great opportunity to take stock of what else occurred last year. Depending on your perspective, you may find it alarming, depressing or thrilling; in any event, it will to help you assess whether you are, or are likely to, meet their expectations.  In summary, ASIC will continue their focus on ‘gatekeepers’ to ensure that they are conducting themselves in a manner consistent with the law, professional standards and community expectations. In the Shadow of the Royal Commission, ASIC have reiterated that they will continue to take action against any who do not meet these standards. This article will explore their successes and their intentions for 2018.

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The problem with choices: Recommendations and alternative strategies

Previously, we've addressed aspects of the advice process including Goals and Objectives and File Notes, but with ASIC's recent focus on vertical integration (Report 562), we thought we’d discuss the perennial issue of alternate strategies.Cynics might suggest that alternative strategies are only included to make the advisers’ recommendation appear more considered, less biased and more reasonable. So, why do advisers need to ‘waste time’ thinking about and recording strategies and products that are inferior to what they recommended?

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Ineffective compliance: 'best interests' and supervision

Smarter Compliance. Since 2012, the Industry struggled first to understand, and then to operationalise, the 'best interest' duty. While the majority of Licensees eventually embraced this fundamental new duty, some participants failed spectacularly. This article considers how competent AFSL should review their compliance arrangements in the wake of ASIC v NSG and ASIC v WRM.

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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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