Risk Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 1 May 2018

Product Updates


AMP adjusts product prices
AMP has begun changing prices for its AMP Elevate product series, including reducing stepped life insurance premiums by 10 per cent and increasing trauma and income protection premiums. These changes, among others, will apply to new business from 16 April 2018.

ANZ OnePath adviser portal enhanced
The changes made by ANZ to its OnePath life insurance adviser portal will make the claims process faster and improve the monitoring of claims progress. Further enhancements will be made to the portal over the next 12 months.

Company Updates

Freedom to acquire life business
Freedom Insurance Group is to acquire St Andrews life and loan protection business from Bank of Queensland (BOQ) in a $65 million deal. Freedom will also enter into a three-year agreement to provide life insurance products to BOQ’s clients. The sale is expected to be completed by mid-2018.

Boutique wealth manager signs to insurance offering
Cardena Private Wealth has signed to MBS Insurance life insurance offering, now advising Cardena’s client base on life insurance providers.

Regulatory Updates

ASIC banning power increased
The Federal Government will give ASIC the power to revoke or cancel financial services licences where the holder is not fit or proper, and ban people from holding any role in the financial services industry. The government has announced this increase in power as part of its response to ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce recommendations.

AMP and other bank advice fee scandal updates
The Australian Council of Superannuation investors (ACSI) has made a decision to formally recommend AMP investors' vote against re-electing AMP directors at the upcoming AMP annual general meeting. 

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (QE) will be investigating a class action against AMP. The firm is pursuing the class action with backing from Burford Capital.

AMP and the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ, and NAB may be facing criminal charges for breaching the Corporations Act in relation to their financial advice businesses.

ANZ may have breached the Act regarding charging fees for advice not provided at least five times, and obligations to act in the best interests of clients, provide appropriate advice to clients, and provide a Statement of Advice to clients.

Two of the Commonwealth Bank’s advice businesses have been cited for failing to provide financial advice to clients who had paid for it.

Westpac may have breached the best interests obligations of the Corporations Act, as well as breaches in providing appropriate advice to clients and advice that complies with financial service laws.

NAB may have breached the Corporations Act by not having a second witness sign for many binding nominations for superannuation.