Risk Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 23 July 2019

Company Updates

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Integrity Life wins digital design award
Life insurance platform Integrity Life has won a Good Design award in the Digital Design category for outstanding design and innovation, announced at the Good Design Awards Ceremony in Sydney.

Regulatory Updates

Golden Financial Group AFSL cancelled
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has cancelled the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Melbourne financial services provider Golden Financial Group.

The company had its licence suspended in March after ASIC was concerned that it was not complying with its general licence obligations. Golden Financial Group did not lodge its annual financial reports and did not belong to an external dispute resolution scheme. The company has ceased its financial services business and requested that ASIC cancel its licence.

OnePath penalised for failing to stop selling non-compliant product
OnePath has received its first Life Code sanction after it failed to stop selling a non-compliant product and to remediate affected customers by the agreed date.

After self-reporting its ANZ Loan Protection Insurance product in July 2017 as non-compliant due to it not offering a non-financed payment option (like a direct debit), OnePath continued to sell the product until February 2019 with the only payment option being via the loan. In November 2018 OnePath agreed to remediation, with all customers contacted by 31 January 2019. The remedial action was not finalised until 10 May 2019, which the Life Code Compliance Committee deemed unreasonable.

APRA criticised in new report
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) Capability Review report offers 24 recommendations for the regulator on how to improve its poor culture, leadership, and regulation of the superannuation sector. The author of the report is former ACCC chair Graeme Samuel, who was appointed by the Government to lead the panel. Also on the panel are AGL Energy non-executive director Diane Smith-Gander and former Reserve Bank of New Zealand acting governor Grant Spencer.

Read the full APRA Capability Review report (PDF)

ASIC seeks ban on direct life insurance sales
ASIC is soliciting feedback on a proposal to ban unsolicited cold calling sales of direct life insurance policies and consumer credit insurance. ASIC published a report recently on consumer credit insurance, which identified sales practices that were deemed unfair, and that failed consumers.

The Royal Commission recommended the ban on unsolicited sales of superannuation and insurance products. The consultation period is for six weeks, with submissions due by 29 August 2019.

FASEA to partially recognise accountant qualification
The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has announced that the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) qualification will be partially recognised as prior learning under the new education reforms. Chartered Accountants have had to complete a degree plus postgraduate studies since 1972.

AFA launches paraplanner community
The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) has launched a new online community for paraplanners, AFA Pulse. The online community has a Facebook page that any paraplanning or potentially paraplanning AFA member can join. Hayley Knight will run the community, with a state-based team.