Beware the traps in the Government’s bankruptcy release

Businesses will get relief with changes to the bankruptcy laws but directors need to be aware that their duties remain in place and a business that is failing may not be saved by these changes. Directors who continue to trade…

So much more than an advice fee consent form

Advisers will have to do more than seek the consent of their clients to maintain ongoing fee arrangements. They will have to warn of any loss or reduction of benefits that result from paying those fees. They will also have…

AFSL hurdle set higher

The new “fit and proper” test that ASIC will apply to all Australian financial services licence applicants will be a higher threshold than the old “good fame and character” test. Recommendations of the 2016 ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce that the…

ASIC asks mortgage brokers: Is your panel good enough?

Mortgage brokers will be required to satisfy themselves that recommending from within their lender panel is in the consumer’s best interests. And they should be able to make a “holistic” assessment of other credit products packaged with a home loan…

ASIC gets a bigger sandbox

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission will have greater flexibility in its administration of the fintech sandbox regulatory licensing exemption, following the passage of legislation last week. The regulatory sandbox is designed to allow companies to test new and innovative…

ASIC licensing and banning powers beefed up

Recommendations of the 2016 ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce that the regulator’s powers be strengthened have finally been put into legislation, with the passage of a bill last week that strengthens ASIC’s licensing powers and extends its banning powers. It also…

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…