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ASIC has released Regulatory Guide 270: Whistleblower policies (RG 270) in order to assist public companies, large proprietary companies and proprietary companies that are trustees of registrable superannuation entities to meet their legal obligation under Pt 9.4AAA of the Corporations Act to have a whistleblower policy by 1 January 2020. Background. ASIC has granted relief to public companies that are not‑for‑profits or charities with annual revenue of less than $1 million from…
APRA has published an Information Paper which sets out its approach to strengthening and intensifying its approach to overseeing governance, culture, remuneration and accountability (GCRA) by regulated entities in response to the recommendations from the Financial Services Royal Commission and the Final Report of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority Capability Review. The Information Paper specifically sets out its progress in responding to those recommendations. The key elements of APRA’s GCRA approach are: Strengthening the prudential…
The Australian Banking Association has published Industry Guideline: Sale of unsecured debt to outline safeguards for customers when banks are selling unsecured debt to another party, in addition to the provisions of Chapter 43 of the Banking Code of Practice which governs what a bank will do when it is recovering a debt. The Guideline is voluntary but it is expressed to reflect good industry practice. It deals with: internal processes, procedures and policies; issues…
ASIC has announced that The Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited, trading as CommInsure, has pleaded guilty to 87 counts of offering to sell insurance products in the course of unlawful, unsolicited telephone calls, contrary to the prohibition in s992A(3) of the Corporations Act against what is known as “hawking”.Background. CommInsure will be sentenced at a later time. CommInsure was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia at the relevant times.…
If you are recruiting someone for your organisation whether it is for the board, senior management or other positions you will have to explain your organisation’s culture and values to the persons you interview. Do your governance documents and policies reflect what you tell candidates? Do you have a culture that encourages trust by developing an environment in which incidents are reported and the necessary processes for investigating and developing preventive action (such as re-training,…
The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors and the Responsible Investment Association Australasia have published a framework guidance for investor reporting under Australia’s Modern Slavery Act. Background. While both supply chains and investments are addressed in the guide, it has been prepared primarily to provide additional information for investors on how they might address their investment activity in their modern slavery statements. The guide refers to government guidance and gives practical tips and hypothetical examples.…
The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has released a Discussion Paper, Corporate Criminal Responsibility (DP 87). The ALRC’s research demonstrates that there is little distinction between the categories of misconduct that currently attract criminal liability and those that attract civil liability. This inconsistency is concerning given that breaches of criminal law are intended to attract serious consequences. The Report considers the concurrent availability of civil and criminal sanctions for many breaches of the…
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has released a new online tool (called Datacube) showing how insurers, banks, financial advisers, superannuation funds and other financial firms responded to consumer complaints made to AFCA. Datacube includes information about the number of complaints received, how long it takes each member firm to resolve complaints and the number of times financial firms did not respond to a complaint. It also allows a comparison of financial firms side-by-side…
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has released a new online tool (called Datacube) showing how insurers, banks, financial advisers, superannuation funds and other financial firms responded to consumer complaints made to AFCA. Datacube includes information about the number of complaints received, how long it takes each member firm to resolve complaints and the number of times financial firms did not respond to a complaint. It also allows a comparison of financial firms side-by-side…
If an APRA regulated institution becomes aware that it has breached (or will breach) a prudential requirement, it must give APRA a written report about the breach within the required time. Often that breach also relates to other obligations administered by other regulators including ASIC and the Privacy Commissioner. While APRA has an agreement with ASIC that breach notifications made to APRA’s online breach reporting system that relates to a breach which is reportable under…