Tips and traps for authorised representative agreements

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If you are appointed to provide financial services on behalf of an Australian financial service licensee, you must enter into an authorised representative (AR) agreement. In this blog we set out some tips and traps to be aware of when negotiating this agreement. Authorisations Of course you should only enter into an AR agreement with

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A winter change is coming – fee consent and lack of independence

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Courtesy of the latest round of Royal Commission legislation[1], from 1 July 2021 financial advice firms need to update their Financial Services Guides (FSGs), Ongoing Service Agreements and Financial Disclosure Statements (FDSs). The key changes are: FSGs must include written disclosure that you are not “independent, impartial or unbiased” (assuming you are not independent within the meaning of

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Breach reporting is about to become more onerous

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A new breach reporting regime will commence on 1 October 2021 and it will be more onerous on licensees than ever before. One of the most notable changes is that credit licensees are now required to report significant breaches for the first time. In this blog, we outline the other key changes that you need

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BNPL Code – to B or not to B a member?

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The Australian Finance Industry Association (AFIA) has released a new voluntary Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Code (Code) to address criticism that the industry is under-regulated and to enhance consumer protections. The objective of the Code is to encourage a customer centric approach, promote industry standards and drive an uplift in compliance. In doing so,

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Best interests duty – mortgage broker = Join the club

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The new mortgage broker’s best interests duty obligations are wide reaching. They may apply even if you’re providing credit assistance that doesn’t relate to a mortgage. Who does it apply to? The mortgage broker’s best interests duty came into effect on 1 January 2021. It applies to: A licensee providing credit assistance where the licensee

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Protecting vulnerable insureds – Not as straightforward as it seems

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From 1 July, subscribers to the General Insurance Code of Practice 2020 (Code) must take extra care of small businesses and individuals who have purchased a retail insurance product and are ‘vulnerable’. When and who does the Code apply to? The Code launched on 1 January 2020 but most of its provisions will take effect in 2021.

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Insurance PDS Obligations – ticking the box and thinking outside it

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Product Disclosure Statements (PDSs) are subject to a range of regulatory obligations but they can also support commercial objectives (for example, a business that prides itself on speaking in plain English might want to present easy-to-read documents). Below is a short refresher on content vs convenience. Living documents PDSs are not ‘set and forget’ documents.

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Changes to Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) procedures – what it means for you

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New Internal Dispute Resolution requirements (RG 271) – what are the key take outs and considerations for insurers? ASIC released its new Regulatory Guide (RG 271) on complaints handling and dispute resolution standards and requirements, on 30 June 2020. The new RG 271 guide will replace the existing RG 165 guidance and will take effect

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Issuing MCI securities – Practical learnings 12 months on

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Last year innovative and landmark reforms were introduced that gave companies limited by guarantee the ability to raise capital by issuing mutual capital instruments ( MCIs) without risking their status as a mutual. Now 12 months on, we share our top 3 tips for any mutual looking to streamline the process. Tip 1: Make sure your

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History repeats – The risks of inadequate due diligence

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Exposure to historical non-compliance can be fatal for purchasers but many don’t include it in their due diligence. ASIC is on the warpath and you can be liable even if you weren’t operating the business at the time of the non-compliance. So before you purchase a business that holds an Australian Financial Services Licence or

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