Author: Brooke Benson

Regulatory Demands Continue to Drive the Risk Management Agenda for Fund and Asset Managers

facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS Funds management is big business in Australia with approximately $1.5 trillion in funds under management, over 700 Asset Managers and approximately 448 Responsible Entities (REs) operating around 3600 Managed Investment Schemes. Throw in several large corporate collapses in the sector (Trio, Timbercorp etc) and it is enough to make any Government and Regulator nervous. Failures in risk management systems have been cited as contributing factors by both ASIC and APRA, each supporting the findings of the PJC Inquiry into the Trio collapse, which suggested imposing enhanced risk management requirements on non-APRA regulated entities could help...

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The Cost of Non-Compliance: Tabcorp and the $45 Million Fine

The cost of non-compliance: Tabcorp and the $45 million fine facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS Last Thursday was an historic day in Australian corporate history. It was the day Tabcorp received the highest recorded civil penalty in Australia; $45 million for breaches of the AML/CTF Act. The buck doesn’t stop there.  Once legal costs are factored in, Tabcorp is staring down the barrel of a financial impact exceeding $90 million, not to mention increased operational and compliance obligations, increased scrutiny and reputational damage. It was a day you were glad you weren’t Tabcorp. In short, Tabcorp’s failings were these: It...

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Corporate Whistleblower Protections in Australia: New Case Against Origin Energy Tests ASIC Protections

Corporate whistleblower protections in Australia: New case against Origin Energy tests ASIC protections facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS Here’s a case study: an employee becomes aware of illegal misconduct within their company that could lead to serious reprimand by regulators. Since the employee only sees the misconduct increasing in scale and gravity, they report it to senior management. Soon thereafter, the employee is marginalised, and their position they are no longer needed by the company and is made redundant.  This is McDow’s story, a former senior compliance officer of Origin Energy who has brought proceedings against Origin Energy for a...

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MDA: A New Regime

MDA: A new regime facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS In this edition: MDA: A new regime Record-keeping for AFS licensees Credit crunch: ASIC key wins on ACL issues Responsible Manager Workshops: Melbourne and Sydney MDA: A new regime ASIC has had a busy year dealing with a backlog of regulatory issues which were put on hold due to the Financial Services Inquiry. The latest issue to be addressed is the Managed Discretionary Account (MDA) regime. ASIC has updated the MDA regime with the introduction of the ASIC Corporations (Managed Discretionary Accounts) Instrument 2016/968 and revised RG 179 Managed discretionary account services. When do I need...

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What do Mystery Shopping and Digital Advice Have in Common? ASIC

Digital advice: ASIC provides guidance on AFSL compliance facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS One of the biggest innovations in recent years within the Financial Services industry is the introduction of digital or ‘Robo’ advice – that is, the provision of automated financial product advice using algorithms and technology without the direct involvement of a human adviser. In response to queries from market participants, ASIC has released RG 255: providing digital financial product advice to retail clients (RG255). Unlike the fintech industry it is seeking to assist, ASIC’s latest Regulatory Guide is far from cutting edge. RG 255 is really just...

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ASIC Identifies Key Risks for Business in 2015-16

facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS While the ASIC Corporate Plan for the next 3 years may not be everyone’s page-turner, the Plan contains important issues affecting all businesses. This blog highlights the key risks ASIC identified in their Corporate Plan 2015-16 to 2018-19 (Plan), which should act as a road map of emerging risk and compliance issues which all organisations should be considering at their next board, risk or compliance meeting. The Plan lists what ASIC perceives to be the key drivers of risk to investors, financial consumers and the markets it regulates. Although ASIC acknowledges that there are some...

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ASIC’s Strategic Outlook for 2016-17: Culture is Key

Digital advice: ASIC provides guidance on AFSL compliance facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS In this blog: ASIC’s strategic outlook for 2016-17: culture is key Financial Reporting – ASIC Sets 7 Focus Areas CompliSpace upcoming Sydney Workshop: 31 August ASIC’s strategic outlook for 2016-17 ASIC has released an outline of its key regulatory priorities for 2016-17. These are: Cyber resilience and technology disruption; Firm culture and conduct; and Handling of confidential information and managing conflicts of interest in research and corporate advisory. Once again, there is an emphasis on culture and conduct.  ASIC defines culture as a set of shared values...

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ASIC’s Strategic Outlook for 2016-17: Culture is Key

ASIC’s strategic outlook for 2016-17 facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS In this blog: ASIC’s strategic outlook for 2016-17: culture is key Financial Reporting – ASIC Sets 7 Focus Areas CompliSpace upcoming Sydney Workshop: 31 August     ASIC’s strategic outlook for 2016-17 ASIC has released an outline of its key regulatory priorities for 2016-17. These are: Cyber resilience and technology disruption; Firm culture and conduct; and Handling of confidential information and managing conflicts of interest in research and corporate advisory. Once again, there is an emphasis on culture and conduct.  ASIC defines culture as a set of shared values and...

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Conflicts of Interest in Practice – Part 2: Systems to identify, mitigate and review

facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS This is the second article in a two-part series on conflicts of interest in financial services. In this series, Brooke Benson, Compliance Consultant at CompliSpace, will build upon the insights and concerns identified by ASIC and provide practical insights on the management of conflicts of interests in financial services businesses. Part Two will explore key business systems to enable you to effectively manage conflicts of interest.   How often are conflicts of interest considered in your business? Do they form part of the standing agenda items of your boards and committees? Or are they part of your due diligence processes? The management of conflicts of interest is often an issue which does not attract much ongoing attention by an organisation – a set and forget approach is usually taken. However, investing attention in conflicts of interest issues makes good business sense. If you get it wrong, the consequences can be severe and costly. In some cases, it may include enforcement action or a forced restructure of business units, roles and remuneration structures. So what steps should you consider taking to effectively manage conflicts of interest in your business? Below are some practical suggestions which you may wish to adopt as part of your organisation’s governance activities. Policies and Procedures Make your policies and procedures relevant to your organisation and enable them to ‘come alive’ by including...

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Conflicts of Interest in Practice – Part 2: Systems to Identify, Mitigate and Review

facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS This is the second article in a two-part series on conflicts of interest in financial services. In this series, Brooke Benson, Compliance Consultant at CompliSpace, will build upon the insights and concerns identified by ASIC and provide practical insights on the management of conflicts of interests in financial services businesses. Part Two will explore key business systems to enable you to effectively manage conflicts of interest.   How often are conflicts of interest considered in your business? Do they form part of the standing agenda items of your boards and committees? Or are they part of your due diligence processes? The management of conflicts of interest is often an issue which does not attract much ongoing attention by an organisation – a set and forget approach is usually taken. However, investing attention in conflicts of interest issues makes good business sense. If you get it wrong, the consequences can be severe and costly. In some cases, it may include enforcement action or a forced restructure of business units, roles and remuneration structures. So what steps should you consider taking to effectively manage conflicts of interest in your business? Below are some practical suggestions which you may wish to adopt as part of your organisation’s governance activities. Policies and Procedures Make your policies and procedures relevant to your organisation and enable them to ‘come alive’ by including...

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