Royal commission response: Anti-hawking

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Currently insurers are not permitted to offer financial products for issue or sale to retail clients in the course of or because of an unsolicited meeting at all, or in the course of a telephone call unless they have met certain requirements. The result is that there is virtually no cold-calling in general insurance because […]

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Do responsible managers need ASIC approval?

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There is no legal requirement for ASIC to “approve” Responsible Managers (RMs), but that’s exactly what’s happening in practice. It’s now creating problems for licensees and RMs. The letter of the law Under the law, an RM is legally appointed from the date the AFS licensee determines. This appointment then triggers a requirement for the […]

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Don’t lose tomorrow’s leaders, lock them in

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As the level of M&A activity increases in the financial services industry post Royal Commission, it’s time to put in place incentives so you don’t lose key employees. Many business owners count on key employees being there to take over the reins. But often key employees leave to work for a competitor or start their […]

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Vertical (dis)integration – are you conflicted?

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Many financial advisers don’t think they have a conflict of interest, but they might be wrong. Thanks to the Royal Commission, everybody is talking about vertical integration and in-house conflicts. We explain what this means and highlight four things you can do to manage conflicts effectively. I’m a financial adviser. Am I conflicted? Probably. Vertically […]

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Deal breakers and deal changers in the financial planning M&A space

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The financial services industry has seen blow after blow recently with the introduction of new Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) education standards and the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (the Royal Commission). The flow-on effect already experienced on the way financial planning businesses are bought and sold […]

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Impact of the GDPR on Australian businesses

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You may think you’re not affected by the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation because you don’t advise clients in the EU? Think again – especially if you use apps like Mailchimp or DocuSign. Even if you merely monitor your clients’ behaviour when they are travelling in the EU, you’ll need to comply with […]

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Why ASIC is stopping ICOs

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ASIC has recently stopped a number of retail initial coin offerings and token generation events (ICOs), has taken action in respect of a completed ICO and has even issued a stop order on a PDS for a crypto fund. ASIC’s two key concerns – misleading and deceptive information in the materials used to market the […]

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FOS / AFCA transition involves much work for AFL licensees

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By now, all credit and financial services licensees, and superannuation trustees must have joined AFCA. But don’t overlook the additional work required to effectively transition from your existing external dispute body to AFCA by 1 November 2018. The two key things you need to do are: 1. Update documents and your website to refer to […]

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Business lending unfair contracts

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Small business lenders are in the spotlight following ASIC’s report on unfair contract terms in small business loans. With ASIC setting clear expectations about how small business lenders will amend their contracts, it’s important to get this right. Who is protected? A small business employs less than 20 employees (excluding casual employees), meaning the first issue to […]

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SME planners, accountants and life advisers next in line for ASIC scrutiny

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Although recent ASIC enforcement action and the Royal Commission have predominantly focused on the major banks and AMP, it would be foolhardy to assume that non-bank advice firms are not a focus. Patterns emerging teach us that you are the next focus. How do we know this? Well, ASIC’s modus operandi is to first investigate potential regulatory […]

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