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Professional IQ: Risk Analysis - how to protect the pathway to your goals

Professional IQ are hosting a webinar titled 'Risk Analysis - how to protect the pathway to your goals' presented by Trevor Slater. 

Here is some more information about the content:

Most of us set goals in our personal and business lives.  However, whilst we often take action to ensure we reach a goal in our personal lives, what we often fail to do in our business lives is to look at the risks that may prevent us reaching those goals.

Take for example when we travel overseas.  We have travel insurance, an itinerary, maps, guides, travel cards and even vaccinations to minimise the risk of not having a good time.  Yet how many businesses have a plan to ensure your clients' data is never lost or how you would run your business if there was a complete IT failure for some days or you are struck down with an illness?

Almost all of the things that we do in our business involve risk of some kind, but it can sometimes be challenging to identify risk, let alone prepare for it.

Risk Analysis helps you understand risk, so that you can manage it, and minimise disruption to your plans. Risk Analysis also helps you control risk in a cost-effective way.

Click here to register.

UK: Providers and Police work to counter fraud

Fraud is real. It is a serious, growing crime. All manner of cyber-fraud is growing, and we probably do not even count it adequately.  In the UK TSB, a bank, and the Metropolitan Police have teamed up to try and address the problem. Link. They are trying to 'target harden' communities, initially starting with businesses in South London, to make it harder for fraudsters to operate. I think this would be an excellent model to copy here, and professional associations could play a valuable role in helping their members in a similar way.

Why the FMA and RBNZ life insurance sector report must be critical

Are you talking about the possible contents of the report on life insurance sector conduct due to come from the FMA and the RBNZ in the next week? This piece from Tamsyn Parker explores the possible contents of the report. Without guessing at specific comments, there is one thing we can be sure about: it will be a different view, and it will not be easy to swallow.

This is because the FMA and RBNZ have been challenged to come up with a different view, and so they must. 

That challenge could be identified as coming out of the Australian Royal Commission, but I think that would be too simplistic, and feeds a sense of confusion and possibly, even, a temptation to justify and point out the difference between the Australian and New Zealand environment.

For a long time - decades - major forces have been building up: consumerism, technology, complexity, and regulation. Combined they have been the driving force for innovation in our sector, and they still are. Complexity, sometimes driven by technology, and sometimes by the very regulation that seeks to manage it, is a fundamental feature and challenge. Our products seek to manage complexity, but they are complex as a result. The result is information asymmetry. In any sector where the asymmetry is large, there is great difficulty in ensuring continuously good customer outcomes.

The market-place likes to work on the principle of willing buyer deals with willing seller, and let the market determine what is good. But where the consumer has a lot less information than the provider oversight is required - or gradually, sometimes unwittingly, compromises and choices can be made that are not always in the best interests of the client. The role consumerism and regulation play in such cases is added oversight. In a wider sense, they are market forces just like the choices of individual consumers, and they arise because of the concerns of consumers. The interplay of these forces over the years has brought progress, challenges have been responded to by law and regulation, and changes in the market.

The challenge, and the reason why there must be a critical report from the regulators, is a natural consequence of the forces at work in our industry. It is simply time this happened. That is not to say that every challenge will be correct in every particular, but the broad requirement for such challenges is natural.

Australia: FINSIA signs up to landmark code monitoring agreement with professional associations

FINSIA Council member News Update announces a code monitoring agreement (see below). What interesting is the interaction between various standards and requirements. Legal standards, regulations, licence requirements, code standards, and contract terms all form a complex web of requirements for an advice business. Governance processes to monitor meeting all the requirements are central to the operation of the business. What can be safely outsourced, versus what must be managed within the business, will be a major issue for advice businesses whatever their size.


FINSIA signs up to landmark code monitoring agreement with professional associations 

The Financial Services Institute of Australasia has agreed to be part of a group of six professional financial planning and advice associations developing a code monitoring solution for members to deal with upcoming regulations.

The associations have agreed to work together to submit a code monitoring compliance scheme application to ASIC so the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) code of ethics can be monitored and enforced.

Chris Whitehead, FINSIA CEO and MD, F FIN, said: “As the professional membership body for the financial services sector, FINSIA brings its expertise to the cooperating associations to help lift professional standards within the sector by the introduction of a defined code monitoring cooperation agreement.  

“FINSIA supports its members by ensuring the financial planning and advice sector is recognised as a profession by developing a scheme by the profession for the benefit of the community.” 

For a copy of the media release, ‘A landmark code monitoring cooperation agreement announced by professional associations’ please click here

FINSIA is committed to keeping its members up to date on initiatives like these that help raise standards of professionalism for the financial services sector.

Interoperability of insurance with events and systems

This article by Chris Behling, Head of Strategy for US Life & Health at SwissRe outlines possible reasons people don't care/think about life insurance as much as we may hope they did. Behling suggests that maybe we start tying life insurance to other purchases people actually do care about as a first step in engaging consumers. 'Because of this trend toward integration and interoperability, the winning formula will go beyond point solutions and instead will imbed life insurance into connected ecosystems that people care about.' Click here to read more. Interoperability is crucial, and a point he makes well, although I doubt Behling's prediction that the number of apps will decrease markedly in the future. The most important systems that insurance needs to interact with are those connected to financial management, and health.

The pros and cons of insurance companies embracing artificial intelligence

This article on stuff.co.nz discusses the pros and cons of insurance companies embracing "AI". Although the article does appear to confuse merely collecting information with using AI to process it, the article provides some insight in to the level of understanding most consumers may have. That understanding is likely to be limited, to focus on risks rather than benefits, and may not involve completely informed consent to the use of their data at all times. Think of the privacy settings that some of your friends have on their Facebook accounts, or their surprise when they discover that some online game they play is mailing all their contacts invites. David Tuffley is right to point out that insurers will need to work hard to win and retain the trust of customers for services that operate using these tools.

Asteron Life: Continuous trauma benefit now available for existing business

Asteron Life's Continuous Trauma benefit which launched in August last year for new business only is now available for existing business. The Continuous trauma benefit is now available for existing customers who have standalone Trauma recovery cover. There are some exceptions such as if a lump sum claim has been made or if the cover has a loading of at least 100%, and medical exclusions count as +50% each. Here is some more information on how this works from Asteron Life: