ASIC sets out DDO ‘product governance framework’

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has been working on the new design and distribution obligations over the summer, issuing draft guidelines that set out the “product governance framework” that issuers and distributors will have to put in place. Under…

Court delivers mixed outcome for licensee over planner misconduct

Westpac has been held liable for the failure of one of its representatives to comply with their best interests obligations, in a court ruling handed down late last year. The bank was unsuccessful in arguing that the misconduct represented just…

ASIC signs off on updated banking code

The Australian Banking Association’s updated Banking Code of Practice has cleared its final hurdle, with ASIC announcing yesterday that it has approved the changes. The revised code will commence on March 1 next year. A new Banking Code of Practice…

Compliance failures common in super fund advice to members

Less than half of the financial advice provided by superannuation funds to their members was fully compliant with advisers’ best interests duty and related obligations, a review has found. And a significant number of members were at risk of suffering…

ASIC powers beefed up

The Hayne fallout continues, with the introduction into Parliament last week of a bill to give ASIC greater powers. Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission – Stronger Regulators 2019 Measures) Bill 2019 harmonises ASIC’s search warrant powers, improves the regulator’s…

Property fund merger off, questions remain unanswered

Australian Unity Office Fund (AOF) and CHAB Office Trust have terminated their scheme implementation agreement, after AOF unitholders knocked back resolutions at a scheme meeting. Under the proposed scheme, CHAB would have acquired all the units in AOF – an…

Why Westpac’s sales calls were ‘personal advice’

In its case against ASIC over a telephone campaign promoting superannuation consolidation, Westpac argued it was sales and marketing, not advice. The Federal Court disagreed. “The dichotomy which Westpac seeks to establish in this case between advertising and marketing on…

Another setback for robo-advice

Two robo-advisors have shut down after the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) raised concerns about the quality of advice. Lime FS announced its subsidiaries Plenty Wealth and Plenty Plus have voluntarily ceased their robo-advice operations after ASIC warned that…

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…

Digital advice making little impact

The take-up of robo-advice in Australia is barely scratching the surface, according to the latest report by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). According to ASIC’s Report 627, Financial advice: What consumers really think, only one per cent of…