Industry news

Bankruptcies hit 24-year low

Despite ongoing concerns about high household debt levels, the latest personal insolvency statistics suggest that Australians are doing a better job of managing their finances. The number of bankruptcies fell 8.8 per cent to 15,329 in the year to June…

Investing apps offer more options for micro investors

Micro-investing is the new game for digital investment companies. Raiz Invest has updated its app with a rewards program that tops up users’ portfolio, while Commonwealth Bank’s CommSec has launched Pocket app, which facilitates very low minimum investments. In a…

Russell enters the managed accounts market

Russell Investments has entered the managed accounts market with a suite of multi-asset portfolios, which it is pitching as active management at a “cost-effective price point”. Four portfolio options, ranging from conservative to growth, are made up of a concentrated…

Cooper Investors opens up Global Endowment Fund to market

Cooper Investors has opened the Cooper Investors Global Endowment Fundto external investors. The wholesale unit trust is the first new product the firm has launched in five years. The strategy has been run successfully with internal capital for over two…

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…