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One of the outcomes of the Financial Services Royal Commission hearings, without any regulatory changes, is a growing understanding of the need for financial services providers to make it easier for customers to get their desired end result without unnecessarily complex documentation or processes. Whether you call this improving the customer experience or design thinking the issue is the same: how do you change your products, services and organisation structure to ensure that you satisfy…
The Productivity Commission has published its Report on Superannuation: Assessing Efficiency and Competitiveness. Its overall assessment is that structural flaws in the form of inadequate competition, governance and regulation have created problems that drag down the system’s performance and lead to very mixed performance across the system. It found that there would be substantial benefits if there were no unintended multiple accounts (and the duplicate insurance that goes with them). It also found that not-for-profit…
Treasury has published a Discussion Paper on Disclosure in General Insurance: Improving Consumer Understanding. The Discussion paper seeks views on the recommendations made in the 2017 Senate Economics References Committee’s report into the general insurance industry. Issues for discussion include: Premium increases and component pricing included in renewal noticesThe recommendations are: • Strengthening the transparency of general insurance pricing by amending the product disclosure regime in the Corporations Act to require insurers to: –…
The Personal Property Securities Register commenced on 30 January 2012. The default PPSR registration period and the period for many migrated registrations of securities over personal property is 7 years. Migrated registrations or those made on commencement in early 2012 will begin to expire soon. If you have current registrations that need to be extended, such as securities over goods with serial numbers, they must be extended before they expire to make sure your protection…
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has advised IT managed service providers (MSPs) which may be affected by a global cybersecurity hack to take steps to ensure Australians’ personal information is being safeguarded. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has provided advice for managed service providers and their customer organisations about the hack and how to respond. If Australians’ personal information may have been compromised, managed service providers must carry out an assessment…
One of the objectives behind the consumer policy which underlies the National Consumer Credit Protection Act is to meet the needs of those who, as consumers, are most vulnerable, or at the greatest disadvantage. But the National Credit Act, the National Credit Code and the ASIC Act do not use the words “vulnerable customers” or define it. Instead, they focus on disclosure of information to consumers and unjust conduct. But, as the Royal Commission has…
In Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v ACM Group Limited (No 3) [2018] FCA 2059 the Federal Court gave its decision on, and the reasons for, the penalty for ACM Group misleading, harassing and coercing two vulnerable consumers for payment of unpaid debts. Background. The Federal Court ordered ACM Group Ltd to pay a total of $750,000 in penalties, consisting of one penalty of $500,000 for one consumer and $250,000 for the other. Between…
I have prepared a planner which is intended to help you prepare your risk and compliance agenda for the year. It identifies known planned regulatory changes as well as current reviews as at 1 January 2019. You can use it in conjunction with my reporting calendar which summarises key existing reporting obligations. Looming large are the Final Report of the Financial Services Royal Commission, due on 1 February 2019, and a federal election due by…
ASIC has released Report 604 Credit card lending in Australia – An update (REP 604), which sets out the changes being made by lenders to help consumers with credit card debt following ASIC Report 580 Credit card lending in Australia (REP 580). Report 580 made it clear that ASIC expects credit providers to: take proactive steps to address problematic credit card debt and products that do not suit consumers; minimise the…