Regulation

Freedom Insurance a shell

Freedom Insurance Group released its 2018/19 financial report last week, revealing that as of early August it had no employees. The board, led by Pauline Vamos, is winding down the company and says it is assessing possible options to maximise…

Testamentary trust tax rules tightened

The tax treatment of testamentary trusts is being tightened, to ensure that minors who are trust beneficiaries do not receive tax concessions they are not entitled to. Last week, the Government introduced draft legislation for consultation. Generally, tax law imposes…

New super law a hurdle for SMSF borrowers

A change to limited recourse borrowing arrangements, included in a superannuation bill that was passed last week, may make borrowing a less popular option for members of self-managed super funds. The new law also includes a provision that allows high…

AFCA hits the road

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority is on a mission to raise consumer awareness about its dispute resolution service. Some financial institutions can expect their complaints files to grow. Next week, AFCA kicks off its Financial Fairness Roadshow. Starting in Tasmania…

Government consults on add-on insurance sales deferral

The new deferred sales model for add-on insurance products will include an option for ASIC to exempt products where the benefits of being able to purchase add-on insurance immediately outweigh the benefits of deferral. The government has moved on its…

Mortgage broker best interest bill under fire

The government’s plan to impose a best interest duty on mortgage brokers has been criticised for being selective in its application, with inconsistent exclusions. A draft bill issued for consultation also bans conflicted remuneration. In a commentary on the bill,…

ACCC calls for FX fix

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has called on providers of international money transfers and FX services to improve their presentation of pricing to consumers and small businesses, and warns it will take action against businesses that mislead consumers about…

AFCA gets the all clear to name and shame

ASIC has given the Australian Financial Complaints Authority the go-ahead to name firms in its published determinations, in a significant departure from the practices of its predecessor organisations. In June, AFCA released a consultation paper on the issue, saying the…

Mortgage broker best interest duty bill released

The government has opted for a principles-based approach to its new mortgage broker best interest duty, allowing brokers and other mortgage intermediaries to respond to the circumstances they are dealing with. Treasury released an exposure draft of National Consumer Credit…

Binary options ban, CFD crackdown on the way

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is planning to use its new product intervention powers to deal with what is sees as “significant detriment to retail clients” in the market for contracts for difference and over-the-counter binary options. ASIC issued…