Recruitment choices can affect your compliance

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Employing someone with a conviction or bankruptcy can jeopardise compliance with an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licensee’s obligations. ASIC can ban any person it considers to not be of ‘good fame and character’. It can suspend an AFS licence if a significant representative of a licensee is banned, or if ASIC believes the licensee will […]

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Licences and responsible managers for sale

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A thriving secondary market for AFS licences, credit licences and Responsible Managers exists in Australia. Foreign exchange businesses can command ludicrously high sums for AFS licences for these rare and hard-to-get authorisations. Seven figure sums are not unheard of for a bare company with no clients and no other assets! Confronted with the fact that obtaining a […]

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ASIC’s user-pays regime increases licensee costs

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Since 1 July 2017, most businesses who are regulated by ASIC must pay a levy to fund ASIC’s work, a cost that was previously borne by taxpayers. Who must pay The ASIC Supervisory Cost Recovery Levy Act 2017 imposes the levy on financial services, credit service and, market infrastructure businesses, liquidators, and companies and company-like […]

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3 tips to write an SOA your clients want to read

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Most clients don’t read Statements of Advice (SoA) because they are far too long. This renders them ineffective and exposes advisers to the risk that their client may not understand the advice they’ve been given. If things go wrong down the track it may even leave advisers on the hook if the SoA is not […]

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Crowd sourced equity funding – a quick primer

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From 28 September 2017, a new source of capital will become available to unlisted businesses – funding by the ‘crowd’. That’s you and me, mums and dads, and of course, the usual suspects – high net worth and institutional investors, who have previously had these investment opportunities pretty much to themselves. How’s it happened? Essentially, […]

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MDA changes – what, when and who?

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How time has flown! We’re 6 months into the revised MDA services framework, but what with Christmas and all, we’ve not seen much evidence of MDA providers changing their processes. But the first deadline – for full service MDA providers – is approaching, people. It’s time to get your skates on! Here’s the first of […]

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Unfair financial services contracts

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“Unfair contract terms” was the hot topic of 2016. Businesses were warned to get their contracts reviewed, multiple articles were published explaining what an unfair contract term actually is, and the ACCC worked with some industries to weed out unfair contract terms. The problem is, one party’s unfair contract term is another party’s necessary protection, […]

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Buy/sell agreements and succession planning

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Businesses who fail to plan for death or serious illness of a principal may live to regret it! Imagine this – one of your co-owners falls seriously ill and needs to exit the business. Can you pay them out? How will you plan for the future? If they die, you could be in business with […]

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Online contracts: click to agree

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When millions of users signed up for ‘Pokémon Go’ they agreed to a term granting the app developers access to see and modify nearly all of their information on their Google accounts – including emails. We’ve been wondering how many users were aware of this. Were you? In our online world, people are increasingly entering […]

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New tough approach to licensing

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ASIC is now taking a tougher approach on AFS and ACL licence applications – they’re refusing to accept applications for lodgement if they don’t contain all the required material and they’re taking a more detailed and rigorous approach to assessing applications. Lodgement failures On lodgement of an AFS or credit licence application, ASIC initially checks […]

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