GRCI Regulatory News Weekly - Provided by SAI Global

SAI Global - GRCI Regulatory News Weekly This section was last updated on 17 April 2014 Click Here to access the news Electricity Newsfeed : National Energy Retail Law Compliance Statement Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change Newsfeed : Coal Company Fined for Discharge... Read More »

GRC Institute attends ISO meeting on bribery

An International Standards Organisation meeting in Madrid, held last week, has started the process of creating a new standard to assist organisations establish their anti-bribery frameworks. Martin Tolar, the Managing Director of the GRC Institute, attended the meeting on behalf of our members. The committee is made up of 22 nations including the UK, USA and China.... Read More »

Repeal day misses the mark

"Australia's first ever repeal day runs the risk of being big on spin and low on substance," according to Martin Tolar, Managing Director of the GRC Institute. Repeal day is a concept imported from US politics and the government says its planned cuts to regulation will be a $300 million boost to businesses. "However... Read More »

It is time for the prime minister to act on bribery and corruption

Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos’s resignation from the ministry today should not be the end of the issue of corruption in Australia as far as Prime Minister Tony Abbott is concerned, according to Martin Tolar, Managing Director of the GRC Institute. Sinodinos’s resignation is just a side show, the Government is temporarily treating a symptom, when they have the... Read More »

$11 million penalties imposed on Flight Centre

The Federal Court has ordered that Flight Centre pay penalties totalling $11 million for repeatedly attempting to enter into anti-competitive arrangements with three international airlines to eliminate differences in the international air fares offered to customers, in proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). In a judgment handed down on 6 December 2013, the Court... Read More »

Charities resist push to scrap not-for-profit regulator

A coalition of charities is fighting the Federal Government’s decision to abolish a charities regulator set up by the last government. Fifty-three charitable organisations have written to the Prime Minister Tony Abbott urging him to reconsider the abolishment of the Australian Charity and Not-For-Profit Commission (ACNC). The opposition from the charities is another blow to the government’s ‘Repeal... Read More »

OECD slams South Africa on bribery

South Africa “must take urgent steps” to investigate and prosecute foreign bribery, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The forthright assessment may make for uncomfortable reading for other nations that have been dragging their heels on bribery reform, particularly Australia. The OECD said South Africa has yet to prosecute a single foreign bribery... Read More »

ASIC to look at rate rigging

ASIC is about to launch its own probe into the growing rate rigging scandal that could last up to a year, according to reports. Numerous regulators are now looking at this latest alleged scandal, including, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Department of Justice, the New York Fed, the Office of the Controller of the Currency... Read More »

Bank of America to pay $6.3 billion to settle

The huge fines arising from failed mortgage securities keep coming. This time it is Bank of America that is paying $6.3 billion to settle a lawsuit arising out of troubled mortgage-backed securities it sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the run-up to the financial crisis. The bank agreed pay that sum to settle a lawsuit filed... Read More »

Internal audit, risk management and directors the focus of new governance rules

The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) has released the third edition of its Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations, the first since 2007. The changes focus on new sign off rules, internal audit, risk management and director quality. Most significantly, chief financial officers and their CEOs will need to sign off on every financial report, not just the... Read More »

Chinese Corruption Woes

China has been widely lauded for its crackdown on corruption over the last 12-months, yet the sheer scale of the task faced was laid bare this week. According to a report by Reuters, Chinese authorities have seized an astonishing $14.5 billion assets from family and associates of an ex-security chief. Here is an extract from the report... Read More »

ASIC warns on cybercrime

ASIC has again warned on the dangers of Cybercrime. ASIC Chairman, Greg Medcraft, repeated his warning that was first made at the GRC Conference in November, that cybercrime is the next ‘black swan event.’ “Cybercrime is a systemic risk and I think it is the next black swan event. It is an issue that’s captured the interest of... Read More »

Senate Inquiry a wake-up call for ASIC

An ASIC Commissioner has admitted that the Senate Inquiry into the regulator’s performance has been a ‘real wake-up call.’ Greg Tanzer defended the regulator’s enforcement record, pointing to the number of cases the regulator has won and its high success rate. But he conceded that this does not translate to what the general public thinks of the regulator. ... Read More »

Global financial regulation is a fantasy

A senior regulator has poured cold water on the utopian ideal of harmonised global regulation for financial firms. Speaking at the ASIC Forum Ashley Alder, Chief Executive Officer of the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong, says financial institutions need to be more pragmatic in their lobbying of regulators and requesting harmonised regulation is unrealistic. ... Read More »

Global regulators call for tougher penalties

Several senior regulators have called for tough penalties for corporate breaches and white collar crime. Speaking at the ASIC Forum, ASIC’s Greg Medcraft, Mary Jo White, chair of the US SEC, Sarah Court commissioner at the ACCC, Georgina Philippou at the UK’s FCA and Robert Bromwich, director at the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution all made the link... Read More »

There is no right risk culture says APRA

One of the biggest questions that still remains largely unanswered on the topic of risk culture is, what is an appropriate risk culture? Well from one regulator’s perspective at least, the answer is not as important as you might think. “It doesn’t matter what the culture is, as long as it is strong and it is clear,”... Read More »

When things go wrong?

So much of the role of the GRC professional is to stop things going wrong. Naturally that is where most people dedicate almost all of their resources and time, putting in place processes, culture and systems to avoid breaches. Yet mistakes happen, often outside of the control of the risk manager. Michael Ritchie, a Partner at... Read More »

Australia needs to get serious about tackling bribery and corruption

Australia's reputation for conducting business in a clean and transparent manner is slipping and now is the time for some overdue legislative reform. Corruption watchers have had a busy week in Australia, with politicians, union officials and businessmen all linked with damaging stories of corrupt practices. A casual observer could easily conclude that local institutions have... Read More »

HSBC's compliance costs soar

The true cost of HSBC’s money laundering problems were revealed with the announcement of the Firm’s annual results. While the bank settled its legal disputes into anti-money laundering controls for nearly $2 billion in 2012, the costs continued well into 2013. Overall core operating expenses rose as risk and compliance costs soared. But the bank’s 2013 earnings are... Read More »

Whistleblowing Survey

The GRC Institute would like to appeal to members for assistance for one of their fellow members, who is currently working on their Masters Degree, asking if interested members could participate in a completely anonymous online survey about whistleblowing practices. This is completely voluntary, however we are looking forward to the results and some of the insights from this... Read More »

Are you ready for privacy reform?

Australia’s new Privacy laws come into force next week, with significant changes to Australia’s Privacy Act beginning on March 12. The new principles are called the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) and are harmonised across government and business. They will replace the existing Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) that currently apply to Australian government agencies and the National... Read More »

G20 Round Table on Anti-Corruption

The G20 Anti-Corruption Roundtable of the Anti-Corruption Working Group met in Sydney last month. The Anti-Corruption Working Group was established in 2010 by leaders in Seoul in recognition of the importance of combatting corruption to achieving broader G20 goals of growth and global financial integrity. The Australian Attorney General, George Brandis opened the roundtable. “In Australia’s... Read More »

GRC Institute Membership survey Thank you to members!

The GRC Institute staff and directors would like to thank the one hundred and forty four dedicated members who made their way through the recent membership feedback survey. The results were able to be tabled for the board’s information at the recent strategy session, to inform their planning and consideration of the strategy for the next three... Read More »

GRC Institute submission on APVMA’s cost recovery model

The GRC Institute has made its submission to the Department of Agriculture for the APVMA’s cost recovery model. You can read the full submission here . Read More »

GRC Institute submission ondraft Guideline for the Sound Management of Risk Related to AML

The GRC Institute has made its submission to the Bank for International Settlements’ (BIS) draft Guideline for the Sound Management of Risk Related to Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (The Guidelines). You can read the full submission here . Read More »

GRC Institute submission on AML/CTF Act Review

The GRC Institute has made its submission to the AML/CTF Act Review. You can read the full submission here Read More »

ACCC releases December 2013 quarterly report

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has published its December 2013 quarterly report, ACCCount. The ACCC completed a number of significant regulatory decisions in the final quarter of 2013. In a landmark regulatory decision, the ACCC accepted the varied Special Access Undertaking lodged by NBN Co. This Undertaking operates until 2040, setting the terms and conditions... Read More »

ATO, ASIC look at Bitcoin

Australian Tax Office ­senior assistant commissioner Michael Hardy said on Channel 9’s Financial Review Sunday that the tax office has been ­monitoring the growth in bitcoin and will provide further advice to taxpayers before June 30. “The ATO is working on a holistic understanding of the taxation treatment of bitcoin to be in a... Read More »

The Justin Bieber Rule of Reputation Risk

There was an interesting story in the Wall Street Journal about reputation risk and how to describe it to other executives. Here is the Wall Street Journal: Companies considering high-risk business opportunities would be well-advised to look at a Justin Bieber gossip-column item for inspiration, a former top enforcement official said. Strip club Sapphire New York... Read More »

Medcraft again calls for tougher penalties

ASIC Chairman, Greg Medcraft, this week faced a grilling from Senators about the performance of the corporate regulator. But Medcraft raised some questions for lawmakers as well, calling on them to give the legislative backing ASIC needs to adequately do its job. In particular, he stressed the inadequacy of the penalties it can apply. “There... Read More »

MAS and SGX Propose Measures to Strengthen the Securities Market

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Singapore Exchange (SGX) have released a joint consultation paper setting out proposals to strengthen the securities market in Singapore. The proposals follow a review by MAS and SGX of the securities market in Singapore. The review concluded that while the securities market remains sound, there were three areas for... Read More »

Privacy Commissioner to investigate data breach

The Guardian has revealed that the personal details of a third of all asylum seekers held in Australia have been inadvertently released by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Almost 10,000 people’s details have been released making it one of the most serious privacy breaches in Australia’s history. The Privacy Commissioner will investigate the breach.... Read More »

Wal-Mart Boosting Compliance in China

The world’s largest retail chain, Wal-Mart, has been forced to boost compliance in China after the Chinese state-owned broadcaster said it was breaching the nation’s permit procedures. The embarrassing rebuke from the Chinese broadcaster has resulted in a swift response from Wal-mart with it saying in a statement that it will increase its scrutiny of... Read More »

FATF warns on money laundering and terrorist financing through trade in diamonds

The FATF and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units have collaborated on a research project to identify the money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) vulnerabilities and risks of the “diamond pipeline.” This covers all sectors in the diamond trade: production, rough diamond sale, cutting and polishing, jewellery manufacturing and jewellery retailers. Based... Read More »

Former Siemens Execs Get Record Bribery Fines

Two former Siemens executives have been given the largest ever civil penalty for bribery. Siemens has already paid the largest-ever corporate fine related to foreign bribery as they struggle to shake off the damaging bribery scandal that has enveloped the organisation. The New York district court has ordered former Siemens executives Ulrich Bock and Stephan Singer... Read More »

Compliance can keep community safe

There is a small minority of businesses that still think a compliance program is nothing more than a nuisance and a cost to their bottom line. Hopefully those dwindling few will learn a lesson from the tragic case of Cootes Transport – where breaches allegedly contributed to the death of 2 people when a tanker crashed and exploded... Read More »

Is currency rigging the Libor of 2014?

As news that three ex-employees of Barclays have been charged over Libor fraud many regulators have begun to turn their attention to currency rigging. The dual probes continue to plague investment banks and their employees. Firstly Libor, and the UK Serious Fraud Office has started criminal proceedings against three former employees of Barclays Bank for alleged manipulation... Read More »

2014 World Economic Forum Risk Report

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released its 2014 Mapping Global Risk survey. The report is based on a survey of the World Economic Forum’s multi stakeholder communities, the report maps 31 global risks according to level of concern, likelihood and impact and interconnections among them. The full report is available here : The Global... Read More »

Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cyber Security

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released a framework for improving critical infrastructure cyber security. As it references globally recognised standards for cybersecurity, the Framework can also be used by organisations located outside the United States and can serve as a model for international cooperation on strengthening critical infrastructure cybersecurity. The full report is available... Read More »

Terms of reference for Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption

The Government has announced its terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. In isolation, this Royal Commission will be a positive development in stamping out the scourge of corruption within unions, particularly within construction. Yet as we said l ast month , this is a wasted opportunity. Unfortunately unions are not... Read More »

FOFA reforms face mounting opposition

The new Government’s FOFA reforms are facing mounting opposition from several quarters, raising the possibility of further delays. The Government’s strategy to deal with the reform process had been to use regulatory changes, rather than legislation, to make amendments. That strategy is now facing a legal challenge. Legal advice sought by the Industry Super Network states that:... Read More »

GRC Institute calls on Canberra to tackle corruption

MEDIA RELEASE 20 February 2014 The GRC Institute is calling on Federal politicians to put bribery and corruption legislation back on the agenda. Australia’s international reputation for conducting business in an environment free of corruption is slipping, and will only get worse unless the positive reform initiatives introduced several... Read More »

Compliance can keep community safe

MEDIA RELEASE 20 February 2014 There is a small minority of businesses that still think a compliance program is nothing more than a nuisance and a cost to their bottom line. Hopefully those dwindling few will learn a lesson from the tragic case of Cootes Transport – where breaches allegedly contributed to the death of 2... Read More »

Treasury Consultation: Improving tax compliance – enhanced third party reporting, pre-filling and data matching

07 February 2014 , Discussion Paper On 6 November 2013, the Government announced its intention to proceed with the 2013‑14 Budget measure, 'Tax compliance — improving compliance through third party reporting and data matching'. This measure is designed to improve taxpayer compliance by enhancing the information reported to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by... Read More »

Treasury Consultation: Consumer credit regulations

07 February 2014 , Exposure Draft The Government is consulting on draft legislation and explanatory materials to enhance consumer protection for Australians that may have need to borrow small amount 'payday' loans. From 1 July 2013 there has been a cap on costs for small amount credit contracts, which are loans of less... Read More »

AUSTRAC compliance reports due 31 March 2014

A reminder to reporting entities to lodge their AML/CTF compliance reports by 31 March 2014. This compliance report covers business activities during the period 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013. Reporting entities should lodge their compliance reports electronically using their AUSTRAC Online account. Read More »

AML tops bank boardroom agenda

Money laundering shoots to top of bank boardroom agenda as threat of criminal prosecution becomes reality, says KPMG Nine out of ten of senior financial executives (88 percent) questioned for KPMG’s Global Anti-Money Laundering Survey said that money laundering issues are back at the top of the agenda in their organisation. The majority suggest that the issue... Read More »

Financial System Inquiry website

The Government’s Financial System Inquiry has been launched this week. It can be reached at . The Inquiry has also called for initial submissions. The Financial Services Inquiry will be one of the biggest policy opportunities for the GRC Institute in 2014. We will shortly be announcing a member event to discuss the... Read More »

Expanded powers sought for regulators in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Government will seek amendments this year to expand the powers of regulators so that they can unilaterally take control of giant financial firms, including international ones, to pre-empt government bailouts. The move is a further expansion of regulator powers in response to the global financial crisis. The proposal to seek law change, laid out... Read More »

Norway's Biggest-Ever Corporate Fine

Norway’s state-owned chemical company, Yara, has admitted to paying bribes in Libya, India and Russia and will pay the country's biggest-ever corporate fine. The US$50m was for three counts of corruption, and included bribery of foreign government officials. Police said that Yara had offered $12 million in bribes between 2004 and 2009, but the actual payouts... Read More »

Top charity concerns revealed

Concerns about charity governance, fraud and private benefit are the leading causes for complaints about charities to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). A report released this week, gives an overview of the compliance activity undertaken by the ACNC in its first year as the national charity regulator. ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe AM says the regulator... Read More »

ASIC focuses on real estate sector

ASIC has banned Mr Hyuk Hwang, a former Sydney mortgage broker and real estate agent, from engaging in credit activities for three years after an investigation found he was involved in the submission of false documents to secure a loan worth $250,000. Mr Hwang is the eighth individual ASIC has taken action against since November 2013. ... Read More »

ASIC continues to focus on funeral insurance

ASIC is continuing to engage with funeral insurance providers as part of its focus on the industry. As part of its industry review, ASIC raised with TAL Direct Pty Limited (TAL), one of Australia’s largest providers of funeral insurance products under the brand ‘InsuranceLine’, its concerns regarding TAL’s advertising of funeral insurance. ASIC was concerned that in... Read More »

Investment fraud a big risk

The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) has labelled investment fraud as an “emerging threat” to Australian investors in its submission to the inquiry into the performance of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Transparency International also made a submission in January, where it raised Bribery of Foreign Officials and Whistleblower protection as the most important issues for ASIC to... Read More »

Bitcoin woes deepen

Unquestionably the most damaging event in the short history of bitcoin was the arrest of two bitcoin entrepreneurs who have been charged with money laundering offences. The future of the fledgling digital currency will depend on regulators’ response to AML issues with the currency, and the arrest of two key figures does not auger well. Charlie... Read More »

Guardian exposes Chinese corruption

We have written in recent months about encouraging progress in China’s battle with corruption. Yet the sheer scale of the problem with corruption at the top echelons of the government was laid out with an exhaustive report in UK newspaper, The Guardian. More than a dozen family members of China's top political and military leaders are making... Read More »

Sound management of risks related to money laundering and financing of terrorism

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has issued a set of guidelines to describe how banks should include risks related to money laundering and financing of terrorism within their overall risk management framework. Prudent management of these risks, together with effective supervisory oversight, is critical in protecting the safety and soundness of banks as well as... Read More »

The perils of social media

The use of social media was again in the headlines last month after a taxation officer, disciplined over his use of Twitter, has quit his job while facing more punishment over a Tweet he sent. The growth of social media is a constant challenge for management and compliance teams, with reputational and legal risk growing as more employees use... Read More »

Money laundering is everywhere

Money laundering was one of the biggest stories in the GRC world in 2013 and if January is any guide, it only looks to become a bigger issue in 2014. There has been a flood of AML stories from all corners of the globe already this year. In Australia, there was the discovery of an extraordinary $6... Read More »

FOFA amendments released for public consultation

The latest round of Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) amendments have been released for public consultation. The Assistant Treasurer, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, released the Government draft regulations and legislation to enact its announced reforms to FOFA. The key amendments include: removing the opt-in requirement; streamlining the annual fee disclosure requirements; amending the best interests... Read More »


MEDIA RELEASE 30 JANUARY 2014 Prime Minister Tony Abbott has moved quickly to investigate claims of rife bribery and corruption in the building industry. On Wednesday, he announced a possible Royal Commission into union activity specifically. It raises the question, if issues of corruption and bribery are now a priority of the government, why stop... Read More »

Head of Compliance - Full Time, Hong Kong based

POSTED 30 JANUARY 2014 About us FWD Hong Kong and Macau are the member companies of Pacific Century Group (PCG). Our operations include Life Insurance, General Insurance, Pension Trust and Financial Planning. The company's extensive portfolio of insurance products is tailored to meet customers' needs throughout the different stages of their... Read More »

Job Opportunity - Lend Lease Compliance Analyst

POSTED 29 JANUARY 2014 12 month contract Sydney Barangaroo is a $6bn urban transformation of the western edge of Sydney’s central business district and will provide extraordinary benefits for Sydney, NSW and Australia. Lend Lease is responsible for Barangaroo South – the southern 7.5 hectares... Read More »

Risk Management and Safety Coordinator

POSTED 28 JANUARY 2014 Drive Risk Awareness High Profile Role Total Package circa $112K (negotiable) This dynamic organisation provides a critical service to the community and has significant opportunities for continued growth. The organisation prides itself on its commitment to the professional... Read More »