Australia: Superannuation, funds management & financial Services news update 26 March 2018

Last Updated: 3 April 2018
Article by Chris Lovell, Paul Faure and Bill Glover

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2018

In the media

Did advisers use super choice to protect trails?
MEDIA – 22 March 2018 - The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has confirmed that it has investigated allegations that members of superannuation funds may have been misled about transitioning to MySuper products to protect adviser trailing commissions. More...

'A slap in the face': Storm Financial clients slam $140k fine after company loses $800 million
MEDIA – 22 March 2018 - Emmanuel and Julie Cassimatis, the husband and wife founders of the collapsed firm — which left more than 3,000 clients destitute — are facing fines of $70,000 each under a Federal Court ruling. More...

FPA calls for end to product manufacturer exemption
22 March 2018 - The licensing exemption which allows financial product manufacturers to give general advice about their products should be removed because it distorts the market, according to the Financial Planning Association (FPA). More...

Directors of Storm Financial penalised for breach of duties
22 March 2018 - The Federal Court has imposed civil penalties of $70,000 each on the directors of Storm Financial, Emmanuel and Julie Cassimatis, who were previously found by the Court to have breached their duties as directors (refer: 16-277MR). They were also disqualified from managing corporations for 7 years. More...

AFA cautions FASEA on adviser exits
21 March 2018 - The final transition plan to the new Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) regime needs to place just as much of a focus on retaining existing advisers as it does on raising education standards, according to the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA). More...

New educational standards for financial advisers released for comment
TREASURY – 20 March 2018 – The Turnbull Government established the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) – a body comprising industry, consumer ethics and education experts – to raise the education, training and ethical standards of financial advisers. More...

Bribes, conflicts of interest and hidden fees: Banking royal commission off to incredible start
MEDIA – 17 March 2018 - Revelations about a tailor pushing $122m in home loans, gym owners assessing peoples' finances, and paper envelopes filled with cash bribes — it has been an astonishing first week of public hearings. More...

Building and strengthening ASIC
TREASURY - 17 March 2018 – The Government has announced that the Turnbull Government intends to create a new Deputy Chairperson role at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O'Dwyer MP said a second Deputy Chair will give ASIC greater flexibility to manage the breadth of ASIC's new powers and increased responsibilities resulting from recent and upcoming law changes (19 March 2018). More...

Super funds push for higher ethical standards
MEDIA – 16 March 2018 - Australian Ethical has joined five industry funds to urge asset managers to adopt the CFA Institute's code of conduct. More...

ISA backs ALP's proposed imputation changes
ISA – 13 March 2018 - Industry Super Australia has backed Federal Opposition leader, Bill Shorten's plans to change dividend imputation arrangements, arguing that it will have little or no impact on the super of most Australians. More...

Removal of dividend imputation refunds will erode retirement incomes
ASFA – 13 March 2018 - The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) today said the proposed removal of refunds for dividend imputation credits could have a significant impact on low-income retirees both inside and outside the superannuation system. ASFA will undertake further analysis to determine the potential impact of the proposal. More...

ASIC prefers quicker, cheaper enforcement action: Ian Ramsay ASIC rarely punishes financial services wrongdoing through the courts, raising questions about whether the regular sent strong enough deterrence messages in the years leading up to the Royal Commission, University of Melbourne economics professor Ian Ramsay says (11 March 2018). More...

In practice and courts

AFSA: Want to get a PPSR registration removed or amended
AFSA has developed a handy double-sided visual guide about the steps involved that could assist you or your staff. The PPSR information website pages about disputing a registration have also been updated. There is also a new PPSR industry information section on the website and you can leave your feedback and suggestions for improvement at the bottom of each webpage (15 March 2018).

ASIC: Transition period for superannuation and retirement calculators extended
ASIC has extended, to 1 July 2019, the time that providers of retirement and superannuation calculators have to comply with the requirement that generic financial calculators must account for inflation (13 March 2018). More...

ASIC consults on updated guidance for its oversight of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)
ASIC has released draft updated Regulatory Guide 139, Oversight of AFCA (updated RG139) for public consultation. The Bill to establish AFCA passed on 14 February 2018, and Minister for Financial Services, the Hon. Kelly O'Dwyer has announced that AFCA will commence operations no later than 1 November 2018. Responses to the consultation close on 6 April 2018 (05 March 2018). More... 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 on Tuesday 13 March 2018. More information is available on the Transcripts and hearings page. Practice Guidelines are available on the Practice Guidelines page.

Legislation

Commonwealth

Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (Prescribed Foreign Countries) Regulations 2018
Tabled Senate 20/03/2018 - These regulations repeal the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (Prescribed Foreign Countries) Regulation 2016, which is due to sunset on 1 April 2018, and continue to declare Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to be prescribed foreign countries for the purposes of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006. More...

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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