What will the new EU Privacy Laws mean for your business?

What will the new EU Privacy Laws mean for your business?

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As of 25 May 2018, the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will implement a new extra-territorial data protection regime, which will impact Australian entities that handle personal data of EU residents. Thankfully some of the provisions of the GDPR mirror those of the Australian Privacy Act 1988, which Australian entities are hopefully already familiar with. However, there are numerous substantive differences and unique requirements that go beyond the Australian position. It is therefore important for organisations with operations in the EU to determine whether or not the GDPR applies to them and to ensure their personal data handling practices are brought into compliance before next year’s deadline. Does my business need to comply with the new EU regulations? You will need to comply with the GDPR requirements if…
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State of the Energy Market

State of the Energy Market

AU Energy Compliance
Today saw the release of the 2017 State of the Energy Market, a report published by the Australian Energy Regulator. There is a lot to digest in the AER's comprehensive and useful report. In this first post, I will briefly look at some of the key themes. It has been a challenging year for the industry, one that has seen significant structural and technological change. 'Technology change is impacting on the wholesale electricity and gas markets more than at any other time in the history of the NEM...' Paula Conboy—AER Chair. Retail and Wholesale Pricing Electricity retail pricing trended higher in 2016, in all states other than Victoria. As I noted in a previous post, significant increases are expected this financial year on top of the average 13 percent in…
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Financial crime doesn’t pay – three ways in which wrongdoers may soon be hit in the pocket

Financial crime doesn’t pay – three ways in which wrongdoers may soon be hit in the pocket

Financial Services
Previously, we discussed some core areas where financial professionals need to think about their own compliance, including compliance with the law and professional obligations. What exactly will happen though, to people and organisations that are in serious breach of their obligations? Recent cases suggest that regulatory agencies and the courts will deal severely with serious non-compliance. For example, in March the Federal Court agreed that Tabcorp would be required to pay a $45 million civil penalty for breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws. Referring to this case, the CEO of the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), Paul Jevtovic commented: “There was a serious failure in the corporate governance and the size of the penalty reflects a significant and extensive non-compliance”. A take-home message, perhaps, is that…
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Are you up-to-date with your obligations as a financial professional? Five quick questions

Are you up-to-date with your obligations as a financial professional? Five quick questions

Financial Services
Are you up-to-date with your obligations as a financial professional? Five quick questions We recently looked at some key regulatory changes in the financial services sector affecting both the FinTech and banking industries. A common theme through these changes is a clear commitment to cracking down on unethical and unprofessional behaviour in the sector. Furthermore, there is an ongoing Senate committee inquiry into the ‘Scrutiny of Financial Advice’, reviewing the current regulatory framework for financial advisors. We will have to wait until the committee reports back on 30 June 2017 to see if further changes lay in store for the sector. In the meantime, here is a five-question mental checklist for all those in the industry: 1) Have I kept pace with the latest industry and economic trends? In order…
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Three ways that financial technology changes can grow your business

Three ways that financial technology changes can grow your business

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In our last article, we talked about some general changes that the Government is making to the financial services industry. One of these changes –the introduction of crowd-sourced equity funding for proprietary companies–concerned financial technology (FinTech). Today we wanted to look at three further changes that are occurring in the FinTech space that you might utilise in your own business. Remember, however, implementing FinTech may involve risks for your particular business, so seek professional advice first. (1) Trial a new FinTech product using the ‘regulatory sandbox’ Last year the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) introduced a FinTech ‘regulatory sandbox’. In general, the law requires that a business get a financial services licence or credit licence from ASIC before releasing a new financial service or product. The sandbox loosens these…
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Budget 2017 and financial services: an opening for the minnows and a warning for the sharks

Budget 2017 and financial services: an opening for the minnows and a warning for the sharks

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Last week we talked about the Government’s new rules for temporary working visas. On 9 May, the release of Federal Budget 2017, the Government filled in some key details of this initiative – including the hefty new levy of $1200 to $1800 (depending on the size of the business) for each temporary visa sponsored. This money will go into a ‘Skilling Australians’ fund which a state or territory government will be able to draw on in training new apprentices. Today we want to clarify a host of changes that have been announced for the financial services sector. In Budget 2017, the Government signalled reform of the financial services sector, especially increased competition, as a key lever for strengthening the Australian economy. Below we highlight four key changes that should make…
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Hire and Rental Businesses take note: PPSR changes

Hire and Rental Businesses take note: PPSR changes

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Are you in the hire or rental business? The law is about to change — and it’s good news On 11 May 2017, both houses of Parliament passed the Personal Property Securities Amendment (PPS Leases) Bill 2017 with broad support across the political divide. Two key changes are being introduced: The minimum length of a type of personal property security interest, a PPS Lease, is being extended from more than one year, to more than two years. Leases of an indefinite term will no longer be PPS leases unless they run for more than two years. What is a personal property security interest? A personal property security interest, in simple terms, is a stake that someone has in any piece of property (except real estate) which ensures the payment of…
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The new rules for temporary work visas: seven key changes that every Australian business needs to know

The new rules for temporary work visas: seven key changes that every Australian business needs to know

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Last month the Government announced sweeping changes to the temporary work visa in Australia. This suite of changes is complex and affects every business that uses temporary employer-sponsored work visas or may like to do so in the future. Here, we set out the seven key changes that you need to know about. Pay attention to the dates – some changes are already in effect, others occur in July 2017, December 2017 and March 2018. For further information on how the changes affect your business, let us know and we will point you in the direction of an immigration specialist. 1. The qualifying occupations for temporary work visas have changed Starting from 19 April 2017, the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa is now being approved only for occupations on…
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Position Vacant: Key Account Manager

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Located in Erina and Sydney NSW, with an exciting product that solves a significant problem for our customers, we are looking to focus on the promotion of our compliance tools (www.compliancequarter.com.au). About you We are seeking individuals with sales and account management experience. Ideally, you will have: 2+ years hands on experience with software (SaaS) sales; Some experience in complimentary areas such as the development of sales collateral and press releases; A passion and interest in areas such as NLP / technology; An understanding of the working environment found in a start-up; and Self-direction and drive. In your application please set out salary expectation, relevant experience and any relevant qualifications. You will be located in either the Central Coast or Sydney office. Salary Attractive salary commensurate with experience.  No agency…
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