Getting Regulator Ready – how Centrepoint Alliance are preparing for 1 January 2021

Future of Financial Advice Market Commentary Financial Advice

Next year is gearing up to be another big year in the regulatory space. There are a number of regulatory changes that are coming into effect from 1 January 2021 and still others that will be implemented throughout the year. While some are still in draft legislation, Centrepoint Alliance has been working to ensure that the team are ready, with all the necessary processes, tools, and procedures and in place.

For Tara Foulkes, Head of Compliance Obligations, who is one of the project managers of the RegPlanner project, one of the first things required was to put together a team from across the business. The team’s role is to understand the impacts of the impending legislation, create a list of what needed to be done, so that staff and Centrepoint’s licensed and self-licensed advisers were prepared to navigate these changes, and ensure the initiatives are completed before the deadline. The result was a staggering 225 tasks!

The team have been put into seven workstreams to manage the various initiatives involved. These workstreams cover ongoing fee arrangements, ending grandfathered conflicted remunerations, advice fees from super, disclosure of lack of independence, code of ethics, mortgage broker BID, and a communications stream to ensure staff and advisers are across the all of the activities and changes.

“The changes required aren’t just about compliance and legal,” says Tara, “the team is made up of a variety of business areas as the impacts will be felt across the business.” Not only will the team be looking at impacts to Centrepoint Alliance, but they will also be creating a series of guidance and tools to assist both the licensed and self-licensed advisers. “It’s important that we help our community navigate these changes and successfully implement these changes with minimal disruption to their business.”

With so many deliverables and impacts to so many parts of the business, starting early is key. “We put together the project team about three months ago,” said Tara. “With so many dependencies and deliverables, getting clear about what you need to do and by when is imperative so that clients will have a seamless experience when changes are made.”

So, what tips does Tara have for self-licensed advisers who are required to ensure they have implemented the changes in their practice? The key is preparation and cross-functional planning. “If I can give some advice to self-licensed firms, it’s don’t wait. Get a team together, understand what needs to be done and develop a timeline to make it happen.

“And if you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals who can help you to build a plan to help you understand implications and impacts and ensure that you remain ready and able to provide compliant quality advice.”