Australia: Superannuation, Funds Management & Financial Services News - 28 February 2018

Last Updated: 1 March 2018
Article by Chris Lovell, Paul Faure and Bill Glover

Most Read Contributor in Australia, August 2018

In the media

ASIC bans Perth advisor for five years
ASIC – 23 February 2018 - The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned Perth-based financial adviser Philip Leake from providing financial services for a period of five years. ASIC found that Mr Leake failed to act in his clients' best interests when providing advice on life insurance. More...

Former Charter Financial Planning adviser permanently banned for dishonestly charging almost $67,000 in fees
ASIC – 22 February 2018 - ASIC has permanently banned Brenton John Poynter of Baulkham Hills, NSW, from providing financial services. Mr Poynter as an authorised representative of Charter Financial Planning Ltd, provided financial advice regarding superannuation products to a number of elderly clients. More...

"Onerous" SG non-compliance penalties hurt small businesses
MEDIA – 22 February 2018 - The Institute for Public Accountants has slammed penalties for super guarantee (SG) non-compliance as "draconian," saying that they could be very damaging to struggling small businesses and warning that more red tape could be coming. More...

New Payments Platform Arrives
FSC – 22 February 2018 - The arrival of the New Payments Platform (NPP) will create ample opportunity for FSC members to create new products and services, be more efficient and realise cost savings. The NPP is a significant upgrade to the nation's payments infrastructure which shortens the processing of transactions from two or three days to just a matter of seconds. More...

Director excluded from financial services industry for five years, pay $400,000 to financial literacy fund
ASIC – 16 February 2018 - Between May 2013 and December 2016 Mr Orth developed and caused Real Wealth to implement a business model under which it provided financial services to more than 750 clients. Real Wealth did not take into account the personal circumstances of clients or make reasonable inquiries regarding the clients' objectives, financial situation or needs. More...

Strengthening APRA's crisis management powers
TREASURY - 14 February 2018 - The Turnbull Government is ensuring Australia's financial system remains unquestionably strong – by strengthening the APRA's crisis management powers, with the Senate passing of the Financial Sector Legislation Amendment (Crisis Resolution Powers and Other Measures) Bill 2017. More...

Australian Financial Complaints Authority – legislation passed
SCT – 16 February 2018 - This week, the Bill to establish the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) passed through parliament. AFCA will be a new one-stop-shop dispute resolution scheme that will replace the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT), the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Credit and Investments Ombudsman. SCT will continue to operate for a time after AFCA's introduction to resolve outstanding complaints. More...

ASIC welcomes establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority
ASIC – 14 February 2018 - ASIC welcomes the passage through Parliament of the Bill to establish the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). In the transition to the commencement of AFCA, ASIC will retain direct oversight of the two ASIC-approved schemes - FOS and CIO - which will continue to provide high levels of service to consumers and firms. More...

Superannuation benefits should be available to assist victims of domestic violence
ASFA – 14 February 2018 - In a submission to a Treasury consultation on the early release of super, ASFA supported claims for the early release of super on compassionate grounds being extended to include domestic violence victims and suggested specific eligibility criteria be prescribed. More...

Melbourne financial services business and former director to pay $7.8M for breaches of best interest obligations and consumer protection laws
ASIC – 08 February 2018 - The Federal Court has found that three Melbourne-based companies engaged in numerous contraventions of financial services and consumer protection laws and ordered them to pay penalties totalling $7,150,000. More...

In practice and courts

Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) commencement dates
Banks will be required to register their senior executives and directors (accountable persons) with APRA and provide greater clarity regarding their responsibilities. For large authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs), the BEAR will commence on 1 July 2018. For small and medium ADIs, the regime will commence from 1 July 2019, allowing them more time to comply. More...

Information on new professional standards for financial advisers now available on ASIC website
ASIC has created a new section on its website to help financial advisers navigate the incoming professional standards requirements. The new requirements are aimed at lifting the education, training and ethical standards in the financial advice sector, and are outlined here. This information can be found on the ASIC website at Professional standards for financial advisers- reforms. (13 February 2018). More...

Competition in the Australian financial system: draft report
Productivity Commission - This inquiry focusses on competition in Australia's financial system as a means to improve consumer outcomes, enhance the productivity and international competitiveness of the financial system and the broader economy, and support ongoing financial system innovation — without undermining financial stability objectives (February 2018). More...

FOS Circulars 2018
Issue 32 - February 2018

AFSA: Regional personal insolvency statistics – December quarter 2017
There were 7,687 debtors who entered a new personal insolvency in the December quarter 2017 in Australia. Of these, 4,785 debtors or 62.2% were located in greater capital cities (14 February 2018). More...

ASFA Submissions
Submission to The Treasury - Re: Treasury Laws Amendment (Taxation and Superannuation Guarantee Integrity Measures) Bill 2018. More...

AIST Submissions

Expert Review of Superannuation Fees and Costs
20 February 2018 -. key concerns with the Disclosure Regime stem from members being placed in a position of not being able to compare products, the inability at system level of comparing fees, costs and returns, and the legislative onus to both collect and report not including investment managers.

Draft legislation - SG integrity measures
16 February 2018 - AIST supports the measures contained in this exposure draft.

Means testing of retirement income streams
16 February 2018 – In this submission, AIST offers a guarded support for the proposed means test treatment outlined in the Position Paper.

IFAC: Exposure Draft 64, Leases
Released: January 31, 2018; Due: 30 June 2018. More...

Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry
The Commissioner, the Honourable Kenneth Madison Hayne AC QC, is authorised to submit an interim report no later than 30 September 2018, and will provide a final report by 1 February 2019. The next round of public hearings will commence Tuesday, 13 March 2018. More information is available on the Transcripts and hearings page. Practice Guidelines are available on the Practice Guidelines page. The Royal Commission's initial public hearing was held on 12 February 2018. A video recording and transcript of the initial hearing is available.

Current Inquiries - Economics Legislation Committee

Financial Sector Legislation Amendment (Crisis Resolution Powers and Other Measures) Bill 2017 [Provisions]

Status: Reporting Date: 09 February 2018.
Consumer protection in the banking, insurance and financial sector
Status: Reporting Date: 28 March 2018.

Consultation on protecting your superannuation entitlements
The Government has released draft legislation to protect workers' superannuation entitlements and modernise the enforcement of the superannuation guarantee. The draft legislation and supporting materials are available on the Treasury website, and interested stakeholders are encouraged to provide their views.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

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