NMP ReVue – Tuesday, November 26

Alex Burke,  Senior Writer,  No More Practice Education

ASIC explains adviser Code enforcement

Following consultation with FASEA, ASIC has clarified it will not be enforcing or monitoring individual advisers’ compliance with the Code of Ethics. However, the regulator said it will be taking a “facilitative approach” to compliance with Standards 3 and 7 of the Code until the new adviser disciplinary body is operational.

ASIC will require licensees to take reasonable steps to ensure advisers apply with the new Code. These include:

  • Ensuring advisers know they need to comply with the Code of Ethics from 1 January 2020
  • Providing training and guidance to advisers regarding the Code
  • Facilitating advisers’ ability to raise concerns about how the licensee’s systems and controls may be obstructing their compliance with the Code
  • Regularly monitoring advisers’ Code compliance

Westpac CEO resigns

Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer is stepping down amidst legal action from AUSTRAC pertaining to over the bank’s alleged 23 million breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism finance laws – most notably failures to monitor customers transferring money to the Philippines in ways considered to be consistent with child exploitation.

Commenting on his departure, Hartzer said he accepts he is “ultimately accountable for everything that happens at the bank,” adding that “it is clear we have fallen short of what the community expects of us and we expect of ourselves.”

Hartzer will be paid $2.69 million while serving out his notice period.  

APRA proposes insurance changes

APRA is proposing measures aimed at “improving superannuation member outcomes by helping trustees select the most appropriate policies for their members, and monitor their ongoing relationships with insurers,” reflecting certain recommendations made by the Royal Commission.

The proposed revisions to Prudential Standard SPS 250 Insurance in Superannuation (SPS 250) will require that beneficiaries can “easily opt out of insurance cover,” that levels and types of insurance cover can’t “inappropriately erode the retirement income of beneficiaries,” and that “any status attributed to a beneficiary in connection with the provision of insurance is fair and reasonable.”

The proposal will also require independent certification that insurance arrangements are in beneficiaries’ best interests.


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