Australia: Superannuation, Funds Management & Financial Services News – 4 July 2018

Last Updated: 5 July 2018
Article by Chris Lovell, Paul Faure and Bill Glover

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2018

In the media

SMSF advice needs significant improvement
ASIC – 28 June 2018 - Around 90% of financial advice on setting up a self-managed super fund (SMSF) did not comply with relevant laws, a review by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has found. More...

Don't overstate industry fund outperformance, says Committee
MEDIA – 28 June 2018 - A report of a key Parliamentary Committee has suggested that not too much should be made of the perceived outperformance of industry superannuation funds when compared to retail funds because it is not universal. More...

ASIC bans financial adviser for 4 years
ASIC – 28 June 2018 - ASIC has banned financial adviser Mr Graeme Ashley Cowper, of Oatley, NSW, from providing financial services for 4 years after an investigation found he was not adequately trained or competent to provide financial services. This is the first administrative banning decision made by ASIC's new Financial Services and Credit Panel following a hearing before it. More...

ASIC takes civil penalty action against AMP Financial Planning for alleged failures relating to insurance advices
ASIC – 28 June 2018 - ASIC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court today against AMP Financial Planning in relation to alleged failure by AMPFP to ensure its authorised financial planners comply with the best interests duty and related obligations under the Corporations Act. More...

ASIC bans former financial advisor and consultant for seven years
ASIC – 27 June 2018 - Following a hearing, the ASIC delegate found that Mr Kawecki had failed to comply with a financial services law by knowingly engaging in conduct that was likely to mislead, in contravention of s.1041H(1) of the Corporations Act. More...

ASIC imposes licence conditions on Aurora Funds Management Limited
ASIC – 26 June 2018 - ASIC has imposed conditions on Aurora's financial services licence. This follows ASIC undertaking enquiries into the misappropriation of $1 million of investor funds from the AUP in February 2017 by Aurora's former CFO, Ms Betty Poon. More...

Trust built through quality sustainability reporting, ACSI says
MEDIA -26 June 2018 - Good quality corporate reporting can play a strong role in establishing trust with investors and the community, the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors said. More...

Corporate reporting can build trust with investors and the community
ACSI – 26 June 2018 - The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) has highlighted the strong role that Corporate reporting can play in establishing trust with investors and the community, in its annual Review of sustainability disclosure. More...

ASIC wants AFCA to report mis-selling
MEDIA - 25 June 2018 - The Australian Financial Complaints Authority should report insurers to the regulator if they engage in unconscionable conduct to sell cover that is not needed or could not be claimed on, a guidance note for the new scheme says. More...

CIPRs won't trump good advice
MEDIA – 21 June 2018 - The Association of Financial Advisers has warned the Federal Treasury that Comprehensive Income Products in Retirement and a Retirement Incomes Covenant represent a very poor substitute for retirees seeking personal financial advice, according to the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA). More...

ASIC releases guidance for its oversight of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)
ASIC – 20 June 2018 - Ahead of the commencement of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) on 1 November 2018, ASIC has released new Regulatory Guide 267 Oversight of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (RG 267). More...

Super funds face multi-million-dollar costs
MEDIA – 19 June 2018 - It could cost some superannuation funds millions of dollars to implement new information security management standards being proposed by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to maintain them. More...

AFCA appoints Chief Ombudsman
MEDIA – 18 June 2018 - The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has announced the appointment of David Locke as Chief Ombudsman and CEO. The new one-stop dispute resolution service replaces the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the Credit and Investments Ombudsman and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal. It will start accepting new disputes from 1 November. More...

Former financial adviser convicted for dishonest conduct
ASIC – 18 June 2018 - Former financial adviser, Gabriel Nakhl, was convicted in the District Court of New South Wales on 8 June 2018 on 8 charges brought by ASIC of engaging in dishonest conduct with investor funds under section 1041G of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). More....

ASIC reports on decisions to cut red tape – October 2017 to March 2018
ASIC has released its latest report outlining decisions on relief applications, highlighting ASIC's efforts to reduce red-tape. ASIC can modify or set aside certain provisions of the Corporations Act, including 2M (financial reporting and audit), 6D (fundraising) and 7 (financial services) and Chapters 2 (licensing) and 3 (responsible lending) of the National Credit Act (15 June 2018). More...

In practice and courts

APRA releases letter to superannuation trustees on cash investment options
RSE licensees are reminded of their obligations under SPS 530 Investment Governance paragraph 23. APRA will monitor RSE licensees' cash investment options during the course of its supervisory activities on an ongoing basis (29 June 2018). More...

ASIC Report 575 SMSFs: Improving the quality of advice and member experiences and Report 576 Member experiences with self-managed superannuation funds
In 91% of files reviewed the adviser did not comply with Corporations Act's 'best interests' duty and related obligations. The non-compliant advice ranged from record-keeping and process failures to failures likely to result in significant financial detriment. ASIC's SMSF report will inform its surveillance and regulatory work into the SMSF sector (28 June 2018).
Report 575 SMSFs: Improving the quality of advice and member experiences
Report 576 Member experiences with self-managed superannuation funds

ACSI Corporate Sustainability Reporting in Australia: 2018
This report assesses the level of sustainability disclosure by ASX200 companies for the 2017 reporting period. It is the 11th annual sustainability disclosure review ACSI has undertaken (26 June 2018). More...

ASIC Regulatory Guide 267: Oversight of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (RG 267).
ASIC new guidance in advance of AFCA commencement to provide policy certainty for stakeholders and to support an efficient transition to the new single scheme (20 June 2018). More...

ASIC Report 574: Overview of decisions on relief applications (October 2017 to March 2018)
The report notes that between 1 October 2017 and 31 March 2018, ASIC granted relief from provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) or the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act) in relation to 766 applications (15 June 2018). More...

APRA: Review of the superannuation prudential framework
The aim of the review is to ensure the prudential and reporting standards, and related guidance, have achieved their objectives and continue to remain fit for purpose. To commence this review, APRA today released the first of a series of consultation papers on aspects of the prudential framework. APRA invites written submissions on all consultation papers by 26 September 2018. Copies of the consultation papers are available on APRA's website.

ASFA Submissions
18 June 2018 - Submission to The Treasury - ASFA response to the consultation on the Review of superannuation and victims of crime compensation (Draft Proposals). More...
18 June 2018 - Submission to The Treasury - ASFA response to the consultation on the Retirement Income Covenant Position Paper (Position Paper). More...

Gazette - Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993
29/06/2018: Notice of Disqualification – Deborah Frankenberg
15/06/2018: Notice of Disqualification - Robert Phillips; Natalie Phillips

Legislation

Commonwealth

Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Amendment (ASIC Fees) Bill 2018
Senate Finally passed both Houses 28 June 2018
Part of a package of four bills to enable the recovery of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's (ASIC) costs for specific regulatory activities, the bill amends the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 to impose fees in relation to an application to vary or revoke the conditions, or cancel the registration, of an approved self-managed superannuation fund auditor.

Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Bill 2018
House of Representatives Second reading debate 28 June 2018
This Bill contains amendments to the SIS Act, SUMLM Act, ITAA 1997 and TAA 1953 to protect individuals' retirement savings from erosion, ultimately increasing Australians' superannuation balances.

Banking System Reform (Separation of Banks) Bill 2018
Introduced and read a first time 25 June 2018; Second reading moved: 25 June 2018
This Bill will separate retail commercial banking activities involving the holding of deposits, from wholesale and investment banking involving risky activities. The Bill provides for such a separation to:

  • protect deposits;
  • end vertical integration, to protect depositors from banks trying to lure them into buying services from the banks'
  • other business;
  • ensure deposits are only used for normal lending, which will keep more money in the real economy and available for banks to lend to productive enterprises;
  • stop banks from securitising mortgages — meaning on-selling them to other banks to be bundled into risky derivatives

—which will put a brake on mortgage fraud and excessive mortgage lending to risky borrowers.

Regulations

Taxation Administration Member Account Transaction Service – the Reporting of Information Relating to Superannuation Account Transactions 2018
27 June 2018 - This instrument sets out the way in which superannuation providers in relation to superannuation plans (excluding self-managed superannuation funds) and life insurance companies are required to give statements to the Commissioner of Taxation in relation to an individual's superannuation account transactions.

Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Regulations 2018
22/06/2018 - These regulations remake the Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Regulations 1994 with minor formatting changes to bring the provisions into line with current drafting conventions.

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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