Industry news

Tax agents thrown in the sin bin

The Tax Practitioners Board is investigating more than 350 tax practitioners suspected of high-risk behaviour. And it is imposing tougher penalties. Misconduct under investigation includes: failure to meet personal tax obligations; over-claiming work-related expenses on behalf of clients; “black economy”…

Cryptoasset investor has second thoughts

Facebook may be preparing to take on the global payments market with the launch next year of its cryptocurrency Libra coin, but closer to home the business case for cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings and blockchain is still very uncertain. Investment…

Non-major lenders gaining more mortgage share

Non-major mortgage lenders are experiencing record-high market share, according to the latest AFG Index. AFG’s loan writers reveal that 42.3 per cent of homebuyers are lodging their mortgages with a non-major lender, a small increase of 0.9 per cent from…

Super fund merger season opens

Super funds Hostplus and Club Super have announced that they are holding talks about a merger. The news comes just days after MTAA Super and Tasplan revealed that they are working on a merger. Hostplus and Club Super have entered…

Planners are using fewer platforms

Financial planners are consolidating the platforms they use, in order to provide affordable advice and efficient administration in a post-Hayne environment. The latest Planner Technology Report by Investment Trends reveals that 57 per cent of respondents are selecting platforms with…

Life industry changes tack on genetic testing

The life insurance industry has introduced a moratorium on the disclosure of genetic test results, with effect from 1 July. The Financial Services Council has introduced a new standard, which is mandatory for all members. Under the standard, consumers will…

Annuity market sizes up new means test rules

The retirement income market is set for significant change, with the introduction next week of new means test rules for pooled lifetime income products. Commentators say there is plenty of discussion in the industry about the opportunities the new rules…

Sandon progresses bid for Mercantile

Sandon Capital is moving closer to its proposed acquisition of Mercantile Investments, buying up more its securities and flagging a shareholder meeting to approve the deal. Legendary corporate raider Ron Brierley’s announcement earlier this month that he would retire triggered…

OpenMarkets launches new trading platform

OpenMarkets Australia, an execution-only share trading platform with more than 30,000 retail and intermediary trading accounts, has launched a new trading platform, OpenMarkets Equix. Available in web and mobile formats, Equix is designed to meet the needs of the self-directed…

Industry fund launches SMSF product

Industry superannuation fund Hostplus is making a play for self-managed super fund business, offering access to assets “ordinarily unavailable to retail investors.” In what is claimed to be a first for the super industry, Self-Managed Invest (SMI) offers SMSF investors…