The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has released a consultation paper to seek views on a new training and assessment framework for financial advisers.

Consultation Paper 153 Licensing: Training and assessment framework for financial advisers contains proposals relating to the assessment and professional development of financial advisers of Tier 1 products. It addresses issues identified in ASIC's review of the present training and assessment framework and seeks feedback to those proposals.

ASIC Commissioner Greg Medcraft said the review had identified concerns about current training standards and highlighted that change is required to increase consumer confidence in the financial advice industry and to encourage professionalism.

The Australian Centre for Financial Studies and KPMG have released a joint report on the future of bank funding in Australia, concluding that, due to slow-changing factors such as the balance of payments and superannuation arrangements, the mix of funding sources is unlikely to change substantially in future years.

Consulting firm, KPMG, has released the results of its latest study of fraud, finding that over $115 million was lost to the Australian economy as a result to fraud over the last 6 months.

Managed Investment Trusts (MITs) have an extra year to prepare for the new MIT tax system after the Federal Government announced last week it will defer the start date of the new laws from 1 July 2011 to 1 July 2012.

Members of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) have overwhelmingly supported the introduction of a new three-year strategic plan which aims to introduce higher standards to the industry and give financial planning recognition as a profession.

The Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation Bill Shorten has met with representatives from the financial planning, tax and accounting bodies, the Treasury, the Tax Practitioners Board (the Board) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and agreed to a set of principles that will be used to develop regulatory arrangements for financial planners who provide tax advice within the context of providing financial advice.

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has released a Better Practice Guide for fraud control in Australian government entities, designed to complement a recently updated version of the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines (the Fraud Control Guidelines).

Submissions to the  Senate inquiry into the development of a capital market for social economy organisations have been called for following the release of its issues paper, ‘Financing the not-for-profit sector’.

An updated regulatory guide released by ASIC provides further guidance and clarity for lenders on assessing borrowers' capacity to repay under the responsible lending requirements of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act).

ASIC has released a series of new and updated guidance documents for financial service providers.

The Assistant Governor (Financial Systems) of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Malcolm Edey,  has outlined progress to date of the bank’s review of innovation in payment systems, identifying some of the key issues that business operators and consumers have identified in improving the uptake of online payments.

A white paper produced by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and Fujitsu has outlined opportunities for the financial services industry to improve its customer service by using techniques of cloud computing.

Revenues raised from the new Mineral Resource Rent Tax (MRRT)will go towards building superannuation savings, increasing Australia’s total superannuation savings to an estimated $6.2 trillion by 2036.

Mortgage exit fees will be banned from 1 July 2011 after the Federal Government passed legislation outlawing the practice.

ASIC has released a consultation paper on proposals that would revise ASIC’s policy on how debt securities can be described in offer documents and the preferred form of advertising for these instruments. 

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has announced it will be examining the quality of financial advice via ‘shadow shopping’ research in 2011, with a focus on advice provided to people at retirement.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has launched a new personal finance website called MoneySmart to help people make good financial decisions by providing free, independent and unbiased information, tools and motivation.

Westpac has announced it will relaunch the Bank of Melbourne in August.

Consumer confidence in Western Australia's economic performance has dropped to its lowest level since the global financial crisis, a recent survey shows.

The 2011 edition of the Global Venture Capital and Private Equity Country Attractiveness Index has ranked Australia seventh out of 80 participating countries, behind the United States, the UK, Canada, Singapore, Switzerland and Japan.

Six new members have been appointed to the Takeovers Panel, which provides a mechanism for peer review of takeovers activity.

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