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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SME Planners, Accountants & 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 […]

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Changes to ASIC licensing

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At a liaison meeting between ASIC and professional licensing consultants in March this year, we were warned not to expect a return to the good ol’ days of 2 month turnarounds on AFS and credit licence applications – ever! It seems that ASIC considers 6 months to be an acceptable minimum. Here’s why. According to […]

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Leverage insurance to negotiate fairer contracts

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In November 2016, the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) introduced new protections for small business. These prevent (often larger) businesses from trying to rely on unfair contract terms. The Federal Court recently decided the first court case on this legislation. The case involved waste management giant, JJ Richards1. This case confirmed that many large businesses have […]

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It’s AML-CTF review time

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AUSTRAC is serious about anti-money laundering and counter terrorism (AML-CTF). Just take a look at their recent actions against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Any business that has an AML-CTF Program must have it reviewed regularly. This now includes digital currency exchanges. Who can do this review depends on whether your business has a Part A or […]

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