The Murray Report’s recommendation to ban SMSFs from borrowing is inconsistent

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The Murray Report’s recommendation to ban SMSFs from borrowing is inconsistent and based on a flawed approach to the regulation of the superannuation system. The Report’s argument that superannuation should be treated as a savings vehicle for retirement income rather than a broader wealth management vehicle is a totally new way of viewing the role […]

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ASIC explained: What does it do and why should Australians care?

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Greg Medcraft, Chairman, Australian Securities and Investments Commission gave a speech yesterday to the National Press Club of Australia, in Canberra. He discussed three main topics: ASIC’s role and why we matter to Australians our challenges to ensuring that investors have trust and confidence in our markets, and how we respond to those challenges – […]

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Disallowance of FoFa amendments handcuffs advisers

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Hotel California-type legislation around Grandfathering, reinstated by the disallowance of the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) Amendments this week, means advisers are now shackled to their existing licensees, according to Synchron Director, Don Trapnell. Mr Trapnell says the financial services industry, one of Australia’s largest employers, is now stuck in limbo. “We now have, embodied […]

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ASIC proposes to cut red tape and encourage more electronic disclosure

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ASIC is seeking feedback on proposals to make it easier for businesses to deliver financial services disclosures electronically while preserving choice for consumers. Our proposals also encourage the use of more innovative formats for Product Disclosure Statements. ASIC today released Consultation Paper 224 Facilitating electronic financial services and disclosures is aimed at enhancing investor engagement with […]

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Higher standards needed for life insurance industry

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An ASIC review of life insurance advice has found that the industry needs to improve the quality of advice and ensure that the interests of consumers are given priority. ASIC’s review of more than 200 advice files from large, medium and small Australian financial services (AFS) licensees found that 63% were compliant. However, more than […]

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TAL seeks better life insurance outcomes for consumers

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Australia’s largest life insurer TAL recommends in a new submission to the Financial System Inquiry a range of measures to improve consumer outcomes for life insurance products and services. TAL Group CEO Jim Minto said: “We are seeking changes to allow consumers to have greater flexibility and ease to both obtain and maintain financial protection, […]

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ASIC’s statement on wholesale and retail investors and SMSFs

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ASIC has clarified how it will apply the wholesale investor test to self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs). This has been an area of ongoing legal uncertainty. The recent Senate Economics References Committee’s final report on the performance of ASIC recommended the Australian Government clarify the definitions of retail and wholesale investors. A 2011 Treasury options paper, […]

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Centrepoint announces conclusion of Professional Investment Services’ OMP after lifting the bar on advice

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Services’ OMP after lifting the bar on advice Professional Investment Services has completed their Ongoing Monitoring Program (OMP) following ASIC’s recognition of the team’s significant improvement in the quality of advice, compliance and audit functions and a commitment to enhancing its financial advice risk management framework. ‘We are very pleased to announce the conclusion of […]

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Senate report doesn’t go far enough to protect consumers

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Australian investors have inferior protection from poor investment advice compared to their peers around the world. That situation won’t change any time soon, despite the findings of a Senate report into the performance of the ASIC, according to Paul Resnik, co-founder of FinaMetrica. “Of the 61 recommendations made by the Senate Economic References Committee, not […]

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Regulation of Australia’s financial system ‘needs overhauling’

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The Financial System Inquiry (FSI) should seize the moment and recommend an overhaul of the regulation of Australia’s financial system, says Alex Erskine, managing director and founder of Erskinomics Consulting. He says the “efficient markets” regulatory philosophy that was the centrepiece of the Wallis/Costello approach to regulation failed in the GFC – and now is […]

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