Three new faces have joined the Financial Services Council board, including the CEO of Commonwealth Bank’s NewCo.
The Financial Services Council (FSC) has announced three new appointments to its board, including CBA’s NewCo chief executive Jason Yetton, AMP Australian Wealth Management CEO Alex Wade, and Challenger CFO Andrew Tobin.
Meanwhile, David Bryant, the CEO and group chief investment officer at Australian Unity and current FSC director, will replace outgoing deputy chair and BT Financial Group chief executive Brad Cooper, who is leaving the council after nine years.
FSC chair and MLC Wealth chief executive Geoff Lloyd commended the outgoing deputy chair’s “expert guidance and support, particularly during challenging periods for the industry”.
The council said Mr Wade brings to the board “a strong passion for delivering quality client outcomes and leading businesses in often complex environments”, while noting Mr Tobin’s 25-plus years of experience in the banking, insurance and wealth management industries in the Asia-Pacific region.
FSC also acknowledged Mr Yetton’s “strong background in transformation and achievement across banking, funds management and wealth management”.
The council last week welcomed the passage of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Powers) Bill 2019, noting that financial products and services providers are now legally obligated to take a “customer-focused approach” when designing and distributing products, which adds “an extra layer of protection” for customers.
FSC chief executive Sally Loane said that while the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) new product intervention power – as introduced in the bill, enabling ASIC to step in to protect customers from inappropriate products if there is a risk of significant detriment – is an important one, the council believes “the greatest consumer benefit comes from quality advice and products appropriate for the goals and needs of individuals”.
The council also welcomed the progress the corporate regulator has made in reviewing RG 97 to improve the quality and consistency of fee disclosure.
The FSC’s RG 97 Working Group submission, sent to ASIC on 2 April, underscores the need for increased transparency and comparability to help consumers make informed decisions about financial products.
FSC’s general counsel, Paul Callaghan, said: “We are pleased ASIC took on board feedback that ‘implicit costs’ in a transaction would not be meaningful for consumers.
“In order to comply with fee and cost requirements, product issuers will need to make extensive systems changes. They will also need to ensure disclosure is understandable by customers. The FSC accordingly has asked for ASIC to consider a lengthy transitional period after the new requirements have been settled.
“While it is clear there is more to do on these issues, significant progress has been made to date, and we look forward to continuing our engagement with ASIC as drafting and consultation progresses.”