Risk Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 22 August 2017

Product Updates

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HUB24 white label expansion
Investment and superannuation platform provider HUB24 has partnered with Accountable Wealth Management to provide Accountable Wealth Management accountants and advisers with a tailored version of HUB24’s platform. HUB24’s platform will offer complete solutions to support client needs regarding self-managed superannuation funds and retail superannuation clients.

Company Updates

CBA looking to divest CommInsure
The Commonwealth Bank has announced it is looking to divest its life insurance businesses, CommInsure and Sovereign. The bank is currently in discussions with third parties in Australia and New Zealand.

Suncorp considers Asteron partnership
Suncorp is considering additional reinsurance, a partnership or full sale as options for its life insurance business, Asteron Life. The life insurance business remains under review.

TAL definition backdated
TAL will apply the new trauma definitions within the life insurance Code of Practice to all claims received on individual policies purchased since 10 August 2009. The Code’s definition of trauma now includes:

  • Cancer - excluding certain specific early stage cancers
  • Heart attacks - with evidence of severe heart muscle damage
  • Stroke - in the brain resulting in specified permanent impairments

TAL will also be introducing customer testing to ensure it is complying with the Code.

AMP reinsurance agreement
AMP announced new reinsurance agreements for its life insurance business that will see $500 million in capital released from AMP Life. An extension on the existing Munich Reinsurance Company of Australasia Limited (Munich Re) is also included in the agreement, which covers 60 per cent of AMP Life’s retail portfolio. A new surplus cover agreement has been signed with Gen Re to assist in managing risk and volatility in individual retail claims. The reinsurance agreement includes the recapturing of 35 existing reinsurance treaties. The reinsurance agreements will commence 1 November 2017.

Regulatory Updates

New ethical advice certification available
A new certificate has been launched by Certainty Advice Group for the supply of ethical, value-based advice. The advice is available to individual advisers who deliver financial advice without conflict or incentive. The advice is to be priced on value and paid in methods that are clear and understandable.

ICA denies undermining crackdown on corporate misbehaviour
The Insurance Council of Australia has denied suggestions that liability policies could undermine a crackdown on corporate misbehaviour. The ICA claims the current Federal Court process should remain.

A consultation paper by the Treasury proposed giving the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) more power to remove or disqualify those in senior company roles without needing to apply to the Federal Court. ICA says the paper is unclear as to which type of insurance it refers to.

ANZ pays further compensation
ASIC has confirmed that ANZ must pay a further $10.6 million in compensation for 160,000 superannuation customers affected by the OnePath group breaches between 2013 and 2016. The additional compensation is in relation to failure to deal with ‘lost’ inactive member balances correctly, and incorrect processing of super contributions.

CBA to refund credit insurance
The Commonwealth Bank is to refund roughly $10 million to over 65,000 customers after selling them unsuitable consumer credit insurance (CCI). CBA sold credit card insurance to customers who weren’t likely to meet employment criteria and would be unable to claim the insurance.

CBA is also refunding roughly $586,000 in premiums after over-insuring approximately 10,000 customers for home loan protection insurance.

AFA election bylaws changed
The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) has made changes to a number of bylaws governing board member elections, board nominees must now be:  

  • Of ‘good standing’
  • Not serving on a committee or board of another association
  • Subject to police screening and licensee checks
  • A current financial and Practitioner Member of the AFA for three continuous years

The changes were passed on 3 August as part of AFA’s preparations to be a Code Monitoring body under professional standards framework.