Industry pushes back against latest financial services reforms

Proposed annual fee renewal arrangements, the disclosure of “lack of independence” and a deferred sales model for add-on insurance are the most controversial aspects of a raft of changes to financial services law introduced in a draft bill last week…

CommInsure pleads guilty to hawking

Commonwealth Bank life and general insurer CommInsure has pleaded guilty to 87 counts of making “non-compliant, unsolicited” telephone calls to sell insurance products. CommInsure is in the process of refunding $12 million to 30,000 customers. CommInsure’s sale to Hong Kong-listed…

Grandfathered commissions gone

The bill ending grandfathered conflicted remuneration was finally passed into law this week, with the new measures to take effect from 1 January 2021. The new law enables regulations to provide for a scheme under which amounts that would otherwise…

Government consults on add-on insurance sales deferral

The new deferred sales model for add-on insurance products will include an option for ASIC to exempt products where the benefits of being able to purchase add-on insurance immediately outweigh the benefits of deferral. The government has moved on its…

Help wanted, advice needed… digital wealth to the rescue

Fewer people in Australia are likely to get financial advice in the wake of the Hayne Royal Commission – the inevitable consequence of implementing the final report’s wide-ranging recommendations. The irony should not be lost on anyone. Although the Royal…

Tech sector buffeted by Hayne shockwaves

Financial services software developer Intiger is facing “trading challenges”, which it says are a consequence of the Hayne Royal Commission. Business has dried up as clients and prospective clients reassess their approach to personal financial advice. Last month, the company…

Trust deficit matched by financial literacy deficit

The level of trust in financial institutions has dropped sharply as a result of the Hayne Royal Commission’s revelations of widespread misconduct in the industry. People are increasingly likely to shun advice and manage their financial affairs themselves. But financial…

Direct insurance market due for a shake-up

If direct selling of life insurance is to survive the aftermath of the Hayne Royal Commission, product design will have to change and insurers will have to adapt their distribution networks. Possible changes include greater reliance on comparison sites as…

Government moves on industry code enforceability

The government has begun the thorny task of introducing greater enforceability into financial sector industry codes of practice, while trying to retain their voluntary and self-regulatory character. Treasury has issued a consultation paper, Enforceability of Financial Services Industry Codes, asking…

Frydenberg backtracks on mortgage broker commissions

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced yesterday that the Government would not proceed with its plan to prohibit trail commissions on broker mortgage sales and has deferred any decision on the controversial issue for three years. The Hayne Royal Commission recommended that…