The new Registration Guideline for Exempt Persons in Victoria

The new Registration Guideline for Exempt Persons in Victoria

AU Energy Compliance
Just as Victoria operates a distinct regulatory framework for retail licensing from the rest of the National Electricity Market, so too does Victoria operate a distinct framework for retail and network exemptions. Last year we discussed the new Victorian General Exemption Order setting out the latest rules in Victoria for embedded network exemptions, including price regulation (https://www.compliancequarter.com.au/embedded-network-operators-take-note-new-general-exemption-order-victoria/). [caption id="attachment_4476" align="aligncenter" width="4270"] Photo by Alex Holyoake on Unsplash[/caption] By Dr Drew Donnelly, Regulatory Specialist, Compliance Quarter.  On 17 May, the Victorian Essential Services Commission (ESC) released a Registration Guideline setting out further requirements for entities seeking exemptions in Victoria.[1] Note, entities that are required to register, should register immediately (by 31 May 2018). Today we discuss the registration requirements in the guideline, including ways in which these requirements differ from requirements…
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So, you’re interested in forming a bank in Australia?

So, you’re interested in forming a bank in Australia?

Financial Services
Is it just us or is having your own digital bank the new must-have item at the moment? The announcement by APRA late last week that it had signed off on Australia’s first ever digital bank under a restricted licensing regime came as no surprise to those who have been monitoring the debate around how to increase competition in the banking sector. You can read more about the restricted banking licence granted by APRA last week to Volt Bank Limited application by accessing our previous coverage on it - click here to view. So, if owning your own bank is the next-big-thing, in the world of fintech, how does one go about getting a piece of the banking pie for themselves? Today we will take a closer look at forming…
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When is an electricity discount not a discount?

When is an electricity discount not a discount?

AU Energy Compliance
The key driver of rising electricity bills in Australia has been network costs.[1] Accordingly, a range of measures have been introduced in an attempt to keep network costs down (for example, the review of the allowable rate of return.[2]  However, another driver of electricity price rise has been increases in retailer margins.[3] One thing that may be leading customers to pay more than they ought to to retailers is a general lack of pricing transparency. The lack of rules around how discounts are offered means that, often, a customer may receive a ‘discounted’ price that is lower than the ‘full’ price for an equivalent offer with another retailer.  In order to rectify this, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), on the request of the Commonwealth Government, has introduced a rule…
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Increased penalties for white-collar crime are coming

Increased penalties for white-collar crime are coming

Financial Services
Last month, in the midst of hearings for the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (the Royal Commission), the Commonwealth Government (the Government)  announced increased penalties for corporate and financial misconduct.[1] These were not a direct response to the Royal Commission, but rather a response to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) Enforcement Review Taskforce (the taskforce).[2] Then on May 4, the Government announced a range of changes as part of its response to the Senate Economics References Committee (the Committee) inquiry into white-collar crime.[3] We take a look at the increased penalties for white-collar crime. Following on from our recent discussion of compliance in the corporate and financial services area (in particular see https://www.compliancequarter.com.au/six-questions-every-director-should-be-asking-about-compliance/ and https://www.compliancequarter.com.au/the-importance-of-culture-not-spend-in-compliance/), it is essential that all corporations and…
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Are Challenger Banks About To Succeed In Australia?

Are Challenger Banks About To Succeed In Australia?

Financial Services
Yesterday, APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) granted the first local digital licence to Sydney based volt bank. Volt and rival startup Xinja are aiming to establish challenger banks in Australia following in the steps of the United Kingdom where challenger banks have been trying to disrupt the large incumbent banks for some time now. By Stephen Findley, Relationship Manager, Compliance Quarter. Scan the executive boards of these new banks and you’ll see bankers and executives with UK experience or UK advisory behind them. The concept of building a digital bank, as in the common UK version, involves bolting together a host of providers that plug into the digital eco-system created by the bank. This typically allows challenger banks to operate a "proof of concept" as they look for customers and…
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The Importance of Culture, Not Spend in Compliance

The Importance of Culture, Not Spend in Compliance

Consumer, Financial Services
‘Actions speak louder than words’ - it’s an idiom that’s as old as time itself yet has never been as relevant to the world of compliance management as it stands today. This is a look at the importance of culture, not spend in compliance. Read more by purchasing a premium pass. [membership level="1"] I have had first hand experience in working with regulated entities when it comes to their compliance frameworks, particularly when there are a short-comings that need to be examined and addressed. In most instances when you issue notices to produce, you will invariably find an impressive set of formal documents that set out the way that the company is managing its compliance with the relevant statutory obligations – some clearly have better advisors than others, but on…
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The advantages of automating compliance workflows

The advantages of automating compliance workflows

Consumer
It’s no secret that automation is changing the way that business is practised – you just have to look at platforms like MailChimp and SalesForce to see the impact that automation has had on the world of customer relationship management. The benefits that automation can bring to a business are becoming increasingly clear across a number of areas of business management – knowing what tasks your staff are most commonly performing, along with the steps within those tasks and then being able to identify if there is scope for automation is the new norm. Why then should the world of compliance be any different? As we have previously discussed, the way that your compliance controls are applied by your staff in their day to day work practices is where your…
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Electricity charges in lease agreements: competing interpretations

Electricity charges in lease agreements: competing interpretations

Consumer, NZ Energy Compliance
A recent judgment handed down by the High Court of New Zealand highlights the need for exercising extreme care when drafting and reviewing lease agreements. Volumex Nominees Limited V The Attorney-General [2018] NZHC 647 concerned an agreement between landlord and tenant in a seven-story building in New Plymouth. The dispute was about the amount of electricity charges to be paid by the tenant. We take a look at electricity charges in lease agreements. Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash By Alex Silcock, Compliance Quarter Electricity charges in lease agreements - Background: The case was brought before the court in an application for summary dismissal. Associate Judge Johnston, at the beginning of his reasons, noted that ‘at the heart of this case is a humble comma’. The particular clause that provided for the payment of…
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Victoria, other Eastern States and New Zealand: What are the different processes for becoming an Electricity Retailer?

Victoria, other Eastern States and New Zealand: What are the different processes for becoming an Electricity Retailer?

AU Energy Compliance, NZ Energy Compliance
Here at Compliance Quarter, a key focus of ours is supporting Australian energy retailers with licensing, authorisation and general compliance processes.[1] However, we also offer compliance support for energy retailers in other countries and jurisdictions such as California[2] and New Zealand.[3]  For any Australian retailers who are considering expanding into another state or into New Zealand, it is essential to understand the similarities and differences in retail regulation across jurisdictions. In today’s article, we look at the different retail regulatory regimes and application processes across Victoria, the other southern and eastern states and New Zealand. By Dr Drew Donnnelly, Compliance Quarter  Electricity Retailers in the Eastern and Southern States (sans Victoria) A unified electricity retail authorisation process applies across New South Wales (NSW), South Australia (SA), Queensland, Tasmania and the…
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Six Questions Every Director Should Be Asking About Compliance

AU Energy Compliance, Building and Construction, Consumer, Financial Services, NZ Energy Compliance
The obligation to ensure adherence to general and specific laws applying to your company’s operations is at the heart of your responsibilities as a company director – both under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and at common law. The most recent set of hearings before the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (Royal Commission) are a sage reminder of the need for organisations (of all sizes) to reflect on how they are managing issues of governance and compliance within their business. You can follow some of our previous coverage of the Royal Commission here (https://www.compliancequarter.com.au/three-financial-services-compliance-lessons-from-the-royal-commission/#_ftn1). By The consequences of failing to meet your obligations as a director can potentially expose the organisation to actions by shareholders, along with civil penalty enforcement action by the…
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