1. Financial services / climate change (UK): last week we covered the fact that the UK is enshrining in legislation the requirement for major companies to disclose climate related actions which is a major development. From then, the UK’s Chancellor has announced that the UK will be the world’s first net zero financial centre. Over $130 trillion — 40% of the world’s financial assets — will now be aligned with the climate goals in the Paris Agreement, thanks to climate commitments from financial services firms. The Chancellor set out new requirements for UK financial institutions and listed companies to publish net zero transition plans that detail how they will adapt and decarbonise as the UK moves towards to a net zero economy by 2050. Further, he outlined new UK climate finance projects funded from the UK’s international climate finance commitment to help developing countries to fund green growth and adapt to the changing climate. Some excellent global leadership from the UK here.
  2. Records of advice (ASIC): ASIC has released an information sheet on records of advice (ROA) and three ROA examples to provide clarity to financial advisers and advice licensees on their obligations when using ROAs to provide personal advice to retail client. An ROA is a simple record that confirms the advice provided by an advice licensee or an adviser. The ROA is quite similar to a Statement of Advice (SOA) but shorter and less formal. It is often given to existing clients to confirm changes to, or implementation of, advice that has been provided in a previous SOA. Advisers can use an ROA instead of giving a client an SOA in four separate advice situations: 1) further advice when an SOA has previously been provided; 2) no buy or sell product advice; 3) small investment advice i.e. under $15K; and 4) COVID-19 advice under the transitional rules approved by ASIC. You can see one of the examples in relation to an annotated life insurance product here, which I think is a really great initiative by ASIC and really useful. Bravo!
  3. ESG (IFRS): the IFRS Foundation is a not-for-profit, public interest organisation established to develop a single set of high-quality, understandable, enforceable and globally accepted accounting and sustainability disclosure standards — IFRS Standards — and to promote and facilitate adoption of the standards. The IFRS Foundation Trustees announced the creation of a new standard-setting board — the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). The ISSB is designed to meet investors’ increasing demands for good quality, transparent, reliable and comparable reporting by companies on climate and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters. The intention is for the ISSB to deliver a comprehensive global baseline of sustainability-related disclosure standards that set out information about companies’ sustainability-related risks and opportunities. Together with the COP26 climate disclosures being legislated, it is a positive development.
  4. Clearview AI (OAIC): OAIC and the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office opened a joint investigation into the personal information handling practices of Clearview AI Inc in July 2020. The investigation focused on the company’s use of data scraped from the internet and the use of biometrics for facial recognition. The joint investigation — which is an increasing phenomenon — was conducted in accordance with the Australian Privacy Act 1988 and the UK Data Protection Act 2018. It was also conducted under the Global Privacy Assembly’s Global Cross Border Enforcement Cooperation Arrangement and the MOU between the OAIC and ICO.OAIC found that Clearview breached privacy law, and ordered it to stop collecting images from websites and destroy data collected in the Australia. Clearview’s actions fell “well short of Australians’ expectations” and carried “significant risk of harm to individuals, including vulnerable groups such as children and victims of crime, whose images can be searched on Clearview AI’s database”, Information Commissioner Angelene Falk said. From reading the facts of the case, Clearview are fortunate we do not have our new privacy laws in place yet otherwise there would be serious fines to contend with…

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store