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Industry 'struggling' with regulatory reforms

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Many in the insurance industry are “struggling” to implement the raft of regulatory reforms made by the Hayne royal commission in its final report submitted in 2019 to the government, according to Xceedance.

The insurance consulting firm says insurers’ chief risk officers and IT departments need assistance to bolster compliance with the new regulatory landscape.

“The regulations are well-founded,” Vice President and Country Manager Stephen Browne said. “However, there is significant effort required to onboard new [governance, risk and compliance] solutions or modify legacy core systems to ensure compliance, and RG 271 is just the tip of the iceberg.”

RG271 refers to the Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) regulatory guide from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) setting out what financial firms must do to have an IDR system in place that meets the regulator’s standards and requirements.

The IDR guide comes into effect on October 5.

Xceedance says the IDR guidance requires insurers to leverage technology and data analytics to improve their internal dispute resolution process, including improved timeliness and efficiency as well as enhanced written communications.

Business advisory firm Grant Thornton says insurers must make managing change a core competency.

“It must be budgeted and capability allocated to the three lines of defence - customer-facing personnel who need the skills and technology for compliance; a robust risk management framework; and sound audit and assurance functions,” National Head of Financial Services Madeleine Mattera said.

“Financial institutions need systems and controls in place to maintain their social licence to operate.”

She says insurers need the tools and technology to support the organisation to manage its obligations cost effectively. They also need to train people to use the technology and be confident and capable with it.