Risk Product, Company and Regulatory Update as at 24 July

Company Updates

ANZ upgrades life insurance process
ANZ Wealth has launched a life insurance pre-assessment tool to reduce the application time by as much as 48 hours. The OneCare Pre-Assessment Wizard assists advisers by providing a pre-assessment underwriting decision for up to six conditions per client. The applications submitted are still subject to full underwriting. 

Advice group joins AIOFP
Tasmanian-based superannuation fund, Tasplan, has made a deal with the Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals (AIOFP) to provide qualified advice referrals for mainland Australia. About 20 per cent of Tasplan's members live on the mainland.

AFA partnering up for educational rethink
The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) has called on the financial services sector to help shape a new framework for adviser education. The AFA will work with the Beddoes Institute, Asteron Life and Kaplan Professional to develop new standards. The association is asking participants from all industry levels to register for online panels to redefine what makes a great financial adviser. The Financial Advice Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) framework will include interpersonal qualities and personal attributes, technical and communication skills, and form the basis of an implementation kit that will be provided to licensees. 

Countplus sells and merges firms
After a strategic review, Countplus has sold three firms and merged two others. Due to a claim being made against wholly-owned subsidiary Total Financial Solutions Australia, the group has decided against paying a dividend for the 30 June quarter. This has caused Countplus to revise its dividend policy, now to be paid half-yearly instead of quarterly.