CPD: 2022 Financial Adviser Regulatory Agenda – Key dates and developments

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The collective sigh of relief from advisers, licensees, and industry associations when the calendar turned over to 2022 could be heard all around Australia. After the tumult of 2021, which saw advisers face almost unprecedented levels of reform (including DDO, IDII, new fee disclosure and consent rules, and the removal of grandfathered commissions), the pace

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CPD: Identity theft – financial advisers at the consumer protection frontline

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The world is full of traps for the unwary. Seemingly every day, millions of Australians are bombarded with emails, SMSs and robocalls attempting to defraud them of money, data, and even worse, their identity. And it’s only getting worse. Thanks to the love affair we have with our mobiles, and our increasing preference for online,

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CPD: Retirement Income Covenant – background, adviser implications and trustee checklist

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Introduction As the ageing of our population continues to accelerate, the shortcomings of our national retirement incomes policy framework become magnified. A historically disproportionate focus by policy makers and product providers on the accumulation – rather than decumulation – phase of retirement savings, combined with entrenched cultural beliefs about the sanctity of home ownership, have

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CPD: Practical advice tips – the SMSF consumer protection challenge

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Introduction The growth of Australia’s Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) sector continues unabated, with ATO June 2021 statistics[1] revealing the sector now holds a record $822 billion in assets, an increase of $23 billion on the prior quarter, and around $80 billion higher than in June 2020. These assets are held in around 598,000 funds on behalf

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CPD: Message understood? Key considerations and steps when providing financial advice to vulnerable clients

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Introduction Amidst an overall increased media and regulator focus on financial consumer protection, especially post the Hayne Royal Commission, the spotlight on ‘vulnerable’ financial consumers has become especially intense. Our population is ageing and becoming more culturally diverse at a time when financial products remain as complex as ever, and as we stand on the

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CPD: A new advice model to protect financial consumers – when Do-it-yourself becomes Do-it-together

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Australian investors are having a Bunnings moment. Lured not by a cheeky sausage sandwich between meals, but by a sharemarket that continues to defy gravity, our love of DIY is now being channelled into investing, as record numbers of Australians join the ‘Robinhood revolution’ and become investors for the first time. Echoing overseas trends –

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CPD: Behaving badly – could our decision-making flaws undermine the consumer protection intent of recent superannuation changes?

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It is widely accepted that consumer financial protection is important not only to protect consumers but also for the stability of the financial system. Whilst the major knowledge asymmetry that exists between consumers and financial services providers is, in itself, justification for robust protections, there is also a widely held view that consumers need protection

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CPD: When disclosure harms, rather than protects, consumers – an adviser guide to DDO compliance

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(Updated 16 September, 2021) Whilst the Hayne Royal Commission undoubtedly put a wrecking ball through most rooms in the financial services house, it is worth remembering that some walls were already crumbling long before that particular show hit town. The reliance on disclosure as a central pillar of financial consumer protection, for example, had already

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CPD: Financial consumer protection – part 3 – adviser priority checklist and calendar

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In a continuation of our series on Financial Consumer Protection, this article examines the latest raft of regulatory changes that will impact – directly and indirectly – financial advisers from 2021 onwards. Self-licensed advisers in particular may find themselves surprised about how much work is involved in meeting their new obligations, with the devil –

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CPD: Financial consumer protection – part 2 – the art of the conversation (having, recording, storing, using, protecting)

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If the essence of the financial adviser/client relationship is trusted conversations, then the way the outcomes of those conversations are recorded, secured, and shared, is of paramount importance. Protecting clients’ interests through the management of their personal information is one of the core consumer protection pillars across any business sector. In the context of financial

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