Fund Product, Company, and Regulatory Updates as at 17 January 2017

Product Updates

Legg Mason launches new global bond fund
The Legg Mason Global Bond Fund, managed by Western Asset, has been launched, offering Australian investors 85 per cent of investments in fixed income, and 15 per cent in high yield and emerging market debt. There is a minimum investment of $30,000. 

Monash University issues climate bond
Monash University, in a university world first, has issued a climate bond to contribute to the university's net zero emissions target. The bond offers investment options in US dollars and Australian dollars over 15, 17.5 and 20 years to international investors. 

Company Updates

Virgin's struggling super fund folds
After less than a year, Virgin's superannuation fund, Virgin Super, has transferred its $550 million in assets into the Mercer Super Trust due to poor growth. The fund will still be separated out by the Virgin Money Australia branding. 

Transport Super merges with MyLife MySuper
Transport Super is now part of MyLife MySuper Superannuation (formerly Catholic Superannuation Fund) master trust due to poor performance. 

NAB sends 60,000 customer details to porn purveyor by mistake
In a human error, a NAB staffer has sent 60,000 customer names, addresses, email addresses, account details, and sometimes NAB ID numbers, to an adult entertainment site that holds the URLs and Customers affected included those applying for migrant banking services prior to moving to Australia. NAB has been quick to take action and no adverse consequences have been noted. 

Regulatory Updates

World-first licensing exemptions for Australian fintech companies
ASIC has released waivers for eligible fintech companies for testing of some specific services without the need to hold an Australian financial services or credit licence.  This is a global first, and will encourage innovation in the industry, which has already recently become more flexible with other exemptions. This exemption allows certain services to be provided to up to 100 retail clients for 12 months. 

New accounting standards in place
Three new accounting standards are being implemented over the next two years, with significant impacts on financial reporting. The new three are AASB 9 Financial Instruments, AASB 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers, and AASB 16 Leases. Each has its own date of commencement. 

Pershing Securities pays $40,000 in infringements
Pershing Securities Australia Pty Ltd has paid infringements to the tune of $40,000 after the Markets Disciplinary Panel had reason to believe that contraventions had occurred relating to market integrity rules. This relates to an isolated incident that had minimal market impact.