Gain an understanding of the legal, operational and business issues relevant to the financial and insurance services industry.

The financial and insurance services industry includes:

  • banks and credit unions
  • superannuation providers
  • insurance companies
  • investment advisers
  • stockbrokers
  • wealth management firms

The businesses in this industry typically:

  • buy, sell, create or change ownership of financial assets
  • take deposits or issue securities
  • provide insurance and superannuation products
  • regulate financial activities

You should also check our general business information for additional regulations and obligations relevant to your business. For further advice and assistance, contact your accountant, solicitor or business adviser. You may also wish to consult with an industry association or group for more information and advice on your industry.

Legislation standards and initiatives


You must be aware of the laws that apply to the financial and insurance services industry.

Key legislation

APRA activity legislation

Companies with Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) oversight should also consult the legislation that applies to APRA activities. This legislation includes:

ASIC codes of conduct

Industry associations set codes of conduct to establish service standards. ASIC provide a list of codes of conduct for the financial services industry.

Licences and permits


State or territory governments manage the licences and permits for the financial and insurance services industry.

The licences and permits you may need include:

Search the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS)

Find the licences and permits you need for your financial and insurance services business.

Taxation


The financial and insurance services have specific goods and services tax (GST) measures. Know your GST obligations and register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to ensure you can claim your GST credits.

Other initiatives to provide special assistance to the financial and insurance services industry include:

  • Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation (ARPC): The ARPC administers the terrorism reinsurance scheme, which provides primary insurers with reinsurance for commercial property and business interruption losses caused by terrorism.
  • Financial Claims Scheme: This scheme protects depositors of authorised deposit-taking institutions and customers of general insurance companies from potential losses cause by the failure of a company.

Levies and charges


Levies and charges fund activities that benefit the industry or economy as a whole such as consumer protection and regulation of the industry. Levies in the financial and insurance services industry contribute to:

Employ people


If you employ staff, you need to comply with Australia’s national workplace laws specific to the financial and insurance services industry.

Workplace Health & Safety (WHS)


All business must comply with general occupational health and safety regulations. If your business resides in an office building, your health and safety strategy should include measures to prevent office-based injuries.

Some business in the financial and insurance services industry may employ staff or contractors who aren’t office-based. These business will have other WHS requirements that may include:

  • standards for protective clothing and equipment
  • standards for occupational safety signage
  • prevention of burns from hot liquids, surfaces or steam
  • driving safety
  • electrical safety

Insurance


Alongside compulsory insurances, the financial and insurance services industry has specific insurances. These insurances may include:

  • General liability - cover against legal liability for personal injury, property damage and advertising liability.
  • Superannuation trustees liability - cover against actual or alleged breaches of trust or law, neglect or misleading conduct with respect to a super fund.
  • Investment managers insurance (IMI) - covers breach of duty, directors and officers liability claims and fraud.
  • Commercial crime - covers theft, extortion and fraud from internal employees, external sources or a combination of the two. This insurance can also cover costs associated with data restoration, investigation costs and lost interest.
  • Professional indemnity insurance - covers potential damages relating to negligence or breach of duty created by an error, omission or act during the delivery of professional services.

Some banks and insurance companies may also be able to register for the Australian Government Financial Claims Scheme. This protects depositors of authorised deposit-taking institutions and customers of general insurance companies from potential losses caused by the failure of the company.

Government organisations


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