Risk Company and Regulatory Updates as at 7 February 2017

Company Updates

AIA Australia enhances its health program for advisers
AIA Australia has made some additions to its Vitality program for advisers to help client engagement, with new tools, documents, and videos. 

Infocus signs up new advice firm
Infocus Wealth Management Limited has acquired its fifth advice business since its launch of its succession planning process in 2014. The Infocus Group Succession Plan allows an option for advisers wanting to exit the business or to grow. 

HNW advice groups merge
Escala Partners and Family Office Research and Management have merged to create an ultra-high-net-worth national consulting company, with around $4 billion under advice. Eight further advisers are moving across from Deutsche Bank. The company expects to have 35 staff in two years. 

AFA's Genxt roadshow kicks off
The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) is going on the road with its annual Genxt Connect Tour. A new initiative - the Adviser Peer Pod - has been added this year to help advisers build business networks and communication skills. 

Banks to conduct background checks to weed out bad advisers
The Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) is implementing the Better Banking program. Banks providing customers with financial advice will start to share information on financial advisers that work at banks, who have shown poor judgement and behaviour in their professional roles. AMP, ANZ Banking Group, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Commonwealth Bank, Macquarie Group, National Australia Group, Suncorp Group, and Westpac have already signed the protocol. 

Regulatory Updates

NAB's super fund trustee company with incorrectly applied claims, millions overcharged
Additional conditions have been applied to a NAB-owned superannuation trustee, NULIS Nominees due to 'breakdowns in internal procedures'. This included inadequate training provided to staff and the updating of insurance policies.

The consequences of the failures were that NAB-owned superannuation funds had incorrect death and total and permanent disability insurance tests applied between May 2013 and July 2015, with $1.6 million in claims underpaid or declined, and 220,000 incorrectly charged member accounts worth fees of $34.7 million.