Fees and Costs Deadline Deferred

ASIC has today issued a media release regarding the deferral of the deadline for implementing ASIC’s fees and costs disclosure requirements in product disclosure statements from 1 February 2017 to 1 October 2017. ASIC will be formalising this announcement by releasing an amended ASIC Class Order 14/1252 shortly. The terms of the amended instrument will…

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ASIC releases digital advice guidance

Today, ASIC released its guidance on ‘digital’ (or ‘robo’ or ‘automated’) advice in Regulatory Guide 255: Providing digital financial product advice to retail clients (RG 255). RG 255 does not differ greatly from the draft regulatory guide issued by ASIC in March 2016, with its Consultation Paper 254. RG 255 includes the following measures and…

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The impact of the CommInsure debacle on Trustees

It is doubtful that anyone in Australia has failed to hear about the fiasco faced by CommInsure.  The repercussions have extended to the Commonwealth Bank and other insurance companies.   It has also impacted superannuation fund trustees, particularly those whose external insurer is CommInsure. The fallout for superannuation funds is not only on the reputation of…

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ASIC “clarifies” fees and costs

In late November, ASIC issued ASIC Corporations (Amendment and Repeal) Instrument 2015/876 (Instrument). This is ASIC’s latest attempt to clarify the fees and costs disclosure requirements under the Corporations Act 2001 (Act) for product disclosure statements and periodic statements issued by superannuation trustees (fee disclosure requirements), so that more accurate and consistent information about fees and costs…

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Update: The Beck decision

Supplementary NSW Supreme Court decision: 
Beck v Colonial Staff Super Pty Ltd (No.2) July 2015 decision In July this year, the NSW Supreme Court (Court) upheld a claim that the actions of the trustee of the Commonwealth Bank Officers’ Fund were void. In particular, the Court held that the deletion of a discretionary power to…

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ASIC acts on “one size fits all” rollover advice

Reflecting ASIC’s increasing focus on the adequacy of financial advice, ASIC has issued a media release about the imposition of additional licence conditions on an AFSL holder in response to deficiencies in its superannuation rollover advice activities including: failure to act in clients’ best interests failure to prioritise clients’ interests. The deficiencies appear to stem…

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Bill introduced for “Independent Directors”

Legislation to mandate independent directors for superannuation trustees was introduced on 16 September 2015. A number of changes have been made since the Exposure Draft was issued in June. The most significant changes are to the meaning of “independent”. We have prepared a comparison of the relevant tests of independence under the Exposure Draft and the…

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Digital disclosure regime brings big changes

In July ASIC released two instruments to provide greater flexibility for making disclosures to investors: ASIC Corporations (Facilitating Electronic Delivery of Financial Services Disclosure) Instrument 2015/647 ASIC Corporations (Removing Barriers to Electronic Disclosures) Instrument 2015/649 ASIC has also updated “RG 221: Facilitating digital financial services disclosures” to reflect the changes made by the new instruments.…

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NSW Supreme Court decision: Removal of discretionary benefit impermissible

In a recent decision, the NSW Supreme Court (Court) upheld a claim that the deletion of a discretionary power to pay an increased benefit was invalid, not in members’ best interests and breached the SIS restriction against adverse alterations to accrued benefits. Background Mr Peter Beck was a member of the Commonwealth Bank’s (Bank’s) staff superannuation…

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New Governance Rules – Independent Directors

On 26 June 2015 the Government released exposure draft legislation that would impose on all APRA regulated funds a requirement to have a minimum of one-third independent directors/trustees and an independent chair. The aim, however, is clearly to encourage funds to move towards a majority of independent directors. This was a recommendation of the Financial…

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