Compliance Committee Meetings

Effective Minute Taking Effective and accurate minute taking is an important part of any Compliance Meeting. The regulator is likely request copies of compliance committee minutes when auditing a company or investigating a particular breach. Therefore the minutes should be prepared not as a personal record but as an accurate description of the issues discussed[…]

Whistleblower laws come into effect

New national Whistleblower laws came into effect from 1 July 2019. All public companies and large proprietary companies have until 1 January 2020 to put into place a written policy with respect to the protection of whistleblowers. A penalty of up to $12,600 may be applied for non-compliance. A large proprietary company is characterised by[…]

Unconscionable Conduct

An allegation of unconscionable conduct in business dealings arises when a party to a contract says or does something that is so unreasonable that it defies good conscience. The Courts will intervene and potentially set aside a contract if at the time the contract was entered into there ought to have been matters “preying on[…]

General or Personal Advice?

On 28 October 2019, the full Federal Court, in the matter of ASIC v Westpac Securities (2019) FCAFC 187 handed down an important decision regarding the distinction between personal and general advice. Background In 2014 and 2015, Westpac engaged in a telephone campaign to encourage existing customers to roll-over their existing external superannuation into accounts[…]

Conflicts of Interest Management

The successful management of conflict of interests is a crucial part of any organisation. Conflicts of interest can arise between employees and their employers and representatives, and between an organisation and its customers. Conflicts of interest can arise even though there is no financial loss and regardless of the motivations of the people and companies[…]

Legal Professional Privilege

Pursuant to the ASIC Act, ASIC has the ability to demand the production of documents in the following circumstances: in the performance of ASIC’s functions generally; to ensure compliance with the Corporations legislation; in relation to an alleged or suspected contravention of the law; and for the purpose of a formal investigation. The notice will[…]

Best Interests Duty Compliance : Million$$ Reasons to do it Better

A recent $1 million civil penalty imposed on a Melbourne-based financial advice firm should put the industry on notice regarding the perils of not fostering a strong compliance culture. In March 2017, the Federal Court declared that NSG Services (now Golden Financial Group) committed multiple breaches of the Corporations Act, including NOT taking reasonable steps[…]