Posts tagged compliance
Compliance, Culture and Compliance Culture

Smarter compliance. Despite their focus on conduct and disclosure, Regulators are increasingly turning their attention to licensees’ ‘culture’. It’s a reasonable approach if one ignores the reality that the definition is circular and that organisational culture is not monolithic; most large institutions are collections of disparate and disconnected cultures. Nevertheless, Regulators show no sign of abandoning this idea, so Licensees must consider how they can best demonstrate a ‘good culture’ and their commitment to key principles. Drawing on international examples, this article proposes ways in which this can be done.

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"Giving hostages to fortune": Licensees, Advisers and the ties that bind them

Francis Bacon wrote “He that hath [a Licensee] has given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief” or at least he would have had he been entertained by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. This article explores the acts and omissions of Licensees and the challenges facing licensees and advisers as a result of the Commission’s scrutiny of the financial services industry.

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"What the hell am I doing here?": Goals, objectives and great advice

Your client’s goals and objectives are the foundation on which personal advice is built. Unfortunately, they are too often confused, used incorrectly or relegated in importance behind a client’s risk profile.  In other cases, they’re reduced to generic and undifferentiated statements that lack detail and the reflect the planner’s recollection rather than the client’s relevant personal circumstances. Practically, the most powerful statement of your clients’ goals and objectives are the ones that come from the clients and are recorded in as close to their own words as possible. After all, isn’t the fundamental purpose of personal advice to deliver what the client needs and wants? 

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The reg-tech promise

The Industry's eagerness to invest in technological compliance solutions is both commendable and personally appreciated, but a measure of caution is required. The fundamental failure of most reg-tech "solutions" is that they are, in most cases, applications looking for a problem rather than automated solutions to real problems. Solutions should be "compliance driven" rather than "technology driven". In my opinion, reg-tech's purpose is to address conduct risks and regulatory burdens efficiently, effectively and in a way that improves the profitability and sustainability of the user's business.

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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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Five reasons Compliance is "meh"

If you work in financial services, you understand that bored indifference, feigned interest, and eye-rolling are common reactions to most "Compliance" conversations. The brutal reality is that for most people, Compliance is simply “meh” - uninspiring, undesired and unexceptional. That's a bitter pill to swallow, but changing perceptions starts with first acknowledging the reasons why compliance elicits this reaction.

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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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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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Talking the walk: a Christmas gift for financial planners

In the last days of 2013, the Assistant Treasurer, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, announced a number of proposed refinements to the some of the key elements of FOFA - including "opt in", Fee Disclosure Statements and Grandfathering. This article addresses the proposals and their likely impact on consumers, advisers and the advice profession.

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