Smarter Compliance. As easy as it has been to highlight the ignorance and arrogance of some advice ‘leaders’, the reality is that their failings may have been exacerbated by compliance functions that were impotent, ignorant or lacking in courage. In fact, ASIC might add ‘compromised’ as a defining feature of some of these compliance functions. The sad truth is that ASIC was not alone in its criticism of compliance functions; both APRA and the Banking Royal Commission have echoed similar concerns and highlighted a need for the transformation of ‘compliance’. This article considers how burgeoning expectations about competency, capability and courage should apply to your compliance function.Read More
The Banking Royal Commission quickly and easily exposed profound and systemic non-compliance with the breach reporting obligations. Breach reporting may be "an important part of the regulatory framework" but the Commission’s hearings (and the Interim Report) show that, “on more than one occasion”, Licensees materially failed to comply with this obligation. Worryingly, they appeared to have suffered no consequences as a result of their failures. ASIC’s Report 594 on compliance with the breach reporting obligations highlights the extent of, and reasons for these failures. This article looks at three key take-outs for Licensees seeking to avoid regulatory censure.Read More
The Royal Commission has highlighted some curious processes followed by some of the larger licensees. Their laidback approach to breach reporting, in particular, has attracted the type of attention they might otherwise preferred to avoid. Breach reporting isn’t that difficult to grasp, but perhaps everyone needs a little help from time to time.
This post covers the key things you need to know and the What, Why, How and When of breach reporting.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
In the context of Commissioner Kell's crusade against commissions, churn and conflicts, risk advisers' processes have started to attract a heightened degree of regulatory attention. Despite the expected legislative roll back of some FOFA elements, regulatory scrutiny of risk advice is only likely to increase in the wake of the New South Wales Court of Appeal's decision in Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited v Couper  NSWCA 444. This article considers what FOS, ASIC and PI Insurers are likely to take from this decision and suggests steps Advisers should take in response.Read More