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Information Resource for Financial Services

NSINC401 APPLY PRINCIPLES OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE TO WORK IN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

written activity 

  1. Information resource.

Develop an information resource that would be appropriate for people working in the financial services industry, outlining and explaining the key requirements of relevant legislation, statutory requirements and industry codes of practice as they relate to:

  1. Consumer credit. (Example answer below) 

The National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) (NCCP) is a single national regime that has replaced previous state-based codes. 

This Act applies to any credit contracts that were entered into on or after 1 July 2010 where: 

• The lender provides credit 

• A charge is made for the provision of credit 

• The debtor is a natural person or part of a strata corporation 

• The credit is provided for personal/domestic purposes or to purchase/improve residential property for investment opportunities 

 Any information you receive must be verified. If the information is not checked you may end up lending money or providing credit to people who have no intension of repaying it. 

This means getting credit checks, checking information given and basically ensuring that every piece of information supplied to you for a credit application is checked and verified for accuracy.

  1. Privacy.
  2. Financial transaction reporting.
  3. Corporations (including accounting standards).
  4. Financial services.
  5. Environmental sustainability. 
  6. Research activity. 

For this task you are to conduct some research at your workplace and collect at least two customer service and/or administration policies and procedures that relate to working in the financial services. Once you have collected the documentation you will need to discuss the following about each policy and procedure collected:

Instruction : download a privacy policy online from one of the banks, and use this to respond to this question, all three sections of your answer must relate to the same policy ( Choose any bank out of big 4 banks in Australia) 

  1. The purpose of the policy/procedure.
  2. Any ethical requirements of the policy/procedure.
  3. Define any terms or abbreviations that may not be clear.

third party report activity

Supervisor Instructions:

For this assessment, the student must complete the activity. 

The practical activity is a stand-alone activity that will allow the student to display the required knowledge and skills that are essential when deciding overall competency. Please sign and date this checklist to evidence the student having completed the task.

Student Instructions:

Arrange a time to complete the activity and have your supervisor observe you undertaking the activity. You should submit the completed and signed checklist with your assessment for this 

unit of competency.


The following task must be demonstrated in conditions that are safe and replicate the workplace. Noise levels, production flow, interruptions and time variances must be typical of those experienced in the tax (financial) advice services field of work. 


For this task you are to apply principles of professional practice to your work in the financial services industry, and will need to be completed in a safe environment where evidence gathered demonstrates consistent performance of typical activities experienced in the industry capability field and include access to:

  • Organisational policy, procedures, legislation, regulations and codes of practice
  • Specialist financial services software and data
  • Common office equipment, technology, software and consumables.


To adequately prepare for the task, discuss the following with your assessor to identify the scope, sectors and responsibilities of the industry:

  1. Identify and discuss the external forces that impact on the financial services industry.
  2. Identify the main sectors of the financial services industry, and discuss the interrelationship between these sectors when carrying out activities.
  3. Identify and discuss the various roles and responsibilities of any other financial service participants when carrying out activities.


Perform the following steps to identify and apply the relevant guidelines, procedures and legislation: 

  1. Collect, apply and analyse all relevant information on legislation, regulations and the codes of practice that apply to completing work in the financial services. Provide a discussion on the types of information you analysed and what conclusions you came to.
  2. Clarify and regularly refine own work practice by applying all relevant legislation, regulations, codes of practice, and organisational policies, procedures and guidelines. Discuss how you do this and what you do.
  3. Use an ethical approach to workplace practice and decisions to apply the relevant codes of practice. Discuss how you used an ethical approach. What did you do?


Complete the following steps to identify workplace sustainability issues:

  1. Obtain and analyse sustainability policies and, from a range of sources, information on strategies and impacts on the industry. Provide a copy of the sustainability policy you have analysed along with relevant notes.
  2. Identify the current environmental sustainability policies and strategies, and promote them as an integral part of business planning and business opportunity. Outline what the polices and strategies are and how you promoted them.
  3. Include and support triple bottom line principles in all work planning activities. 


Perform the following steps to manage information in the workplace:

  1. Read the relevant documents and reports that could impact on work effectiveness and compliance, and discuss with the appropriate people. What reports did you read and who did you discuss them with?
  2. Analyse, evaluate and check that all completed documents, reports, data and numerical calculations meet the required customer and organisational requirements. Provide a copy of at least 5 different documents that you checked in your assessment.
  3.  Present all information in a format appropriate for the intended audience. 


Complete the following steps to participate in and facilitate work team activities:

  1. Provide appropriate feedback and encouragement to team members to value and reward the efforts and contributions of teams and individuals. Outline the types of feedback you provided.
  2. Actively encourage participation and responsibility of team members in team activities and communication processes. How did you encourage staff members to participate?
  3. Support the work team to identify and resolve any problems identified which impede the team performance. How did you support the team to resolve problems?
  4. Conduct own work in a manner that serves as a role model for others, and that enhances the organisation's image and that of the financial services industry. What did you do to model appropriate behaviour? Provide a brief outline.


Perform the following steps plan the work to be completed:

  1. Determine the tasks that need to be completed. Outline the tasks that needed to be completed.
  2. Identify any relevant conditions required for the work to be completed autonomously or in team environment. Were there any conditions? If so discuss what they were.
  3. Plan work to appropriately and manage resources, time and priorities. How did you manage resources and prioritise your work?
  4. As required, contribute to the organisational planning process to achieve service improvement. How did you contribute to this?
  5. Adapt in a timely manner to changes in technology and work organisation. 


Complete the following steps to develop and maintain personal competency:

  1. Identify any personal professional development needs and goals, and review on a regular basis. Provide a personal development plan outlining the types of development required and what plans you have for training and education.
  2. Clarify all competency, authorisation and licencing requirements, and ensure they are complied with. Provide a description of the competency, authorisation and licencing requirements you have.
  3. Seek relevant professional development opportunities that reflect you needs and goals. 


Once you have demonstrated your ability to apply the principles of professional practice to your work in the financial services industry on at least one occasion, you will need to sit down with your assessor and discuss the following: 

  1. The environmental and sustainability legislation, regulations and codes of practice that were analysed, and how these apply to work completed. 
  2. Any principles, practices and available tools and techniques of sustainability management that were applied to work completed. 
  3. Any internal administration systems used to complete work. 
  4. The use of triple bottom line principles in work planning.
  5. Briefly outline the current economic and political climate relating to the financial services industry in which you work.
  6. Security practices and rationale for the industry and organisation.

Research Task and Written/Oral Questions

The following questions may be answered verbally with your assessor or you may write down your answers. Please discuss this with your assessor before you commence this task to ascertain if you are to complete this section. Your assessor can be contacted via their email address provided to you on enrolment or via service@mentor.edu.au

Short Answers are required which is approximately 4 typed lines = 50 words, or 5 lines of handwritten text.

Your assessor will take down dot points as a minimum if you choose to answer them verbally.

Answer the following questions either verbally with your assessor or in writing.

To complete this task, you are to research the external forces on the financial services industry, the sectors of the financial services industry in Australia, the participants and legislation, guidelines, codes of practice, triple bottom line principles and other aspects as required in the questions below and provide short answers to the following questions. 

  1. What are the five most impactful external forces that impact on the financial services industry? 
  2. Identify the main sectors of the Australian Financial Service Industry, and outline how they interrelate.  
  3. Identify the roles and responsibilities of three other participants in financial services industry activities.
  4. Identify at least four of the types of legislation, regulations and codes of practice that need to be collected, analysed and applied to work in the financial services industry. 
  5. What information would you use to clarify and regularly refine your own work practice? 
  6. Give two examples of relevant codes of practice that must be applied ethically to financial services workplace practices and decisions. 
  7. Where could you source information on sustainability policies, strategies and impacts on industry? List at least four places. 
  8. What are the benefits of including environmental sustainability policies and strategies into a business plan?
  9. Briefly explain Triple Bottom line principles and why you would incorporate this in work planning. 
  10. Identify at least three of the documents and/or reports that could impact on work effectiveness and compliance.
  11. Documents, reports and the data and numerical calculations found within them must be checked for what? 
  12. How should you present your information to your audience? 
  13. In what ways could you provide feedback to team members? 
  14. Outline the three steps used to encourage individual team members to accept responsibility for their job.
  15. Briefly describe one internal measure that could be used to support team members to identify and resolve problems which impede team performance. 
  16. Discuss three methods for working as a role model within a work team.
  17. Why is it essential to determine all relevant conditions of a particular task?
  18. Briefly outline an effective method that may be used to plan work and manage resources, time and priorities. 
  19. Whose responsibility is it to contribute to organisational planning? 
  20. There are many different reasons that policies and procedures may need to be changed. Identify at least four. 
  21. Why is it essential to continually review and update your personal professional development?
  22. Define the following terms in relation to the financial services:
    1. Competency.
    2. License.
    3. Authorisation.
    4. Political climate.
    5. Economic climate
  23. In the financial services, what are the five typical areas that you would seek professional development in?  
  24. Identify four of the codes of practice and legislation that can assist with informing on suitable security procedures and risk management techniques for the financial services. 
  25. Briefly discuss the main financial information security risks facing the industry in the current business climate.
  26. Describe one internal administration system.

Answer


  1. Information Resource

Consumer Credit

The National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 is an act established with an objective to protect consumers while borrowing money. This act regulates the conduct and transactions between the creditor and the debtor. It is explicitly instrumental and the purpose is to protect the consumers in such transactions. The major objectives of this act are to improve consumer wellbeing by enabling confident participation of consumers in the markets and by fostering effective competition. 

It is important to prevent unfair practices and instead promote proportionate and risk-based enforcement in given transactions. There are different processes or transactions taking place where this act will be applied. For example, an individual will be getting financial credit from the lender or the debtor is transferring the debt to another person under the consideration and knowledge of creditor. It is thereby important both for the debtor and the creditor to be aware of this act to ensure their respective protection in a given financial transaction (Burmeister et al., 2015)

Privacy

The Privacy Act of 1988 is an Australian Law that regulates handling of personal information and ensures protection of private information against credit reporting provisions, personal information for medical research, handling of tax file numbers, and other privacy details of the people (Clarke, 2014). The sections under this act also include privacy-related information such as telecommunications, data matching, criminal records, Medicare, anti-money laundering legislation, and Personal Property Securities Register. The individual will thereby be able to keep his information secure and subsequently ensure safety against the government and other financial agencies.

Financial Transaction Reporting

The Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 (FTR Act) in Australia is operated along with Anti-Money Laundering Act and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act of 2006 to assist the administration team and taxation team to determine the flow of financial transactions in the system. 

There are several entities that will have obligations under this act and these include - financial institutions, cash carriers, financial corporations, and trustees of the firms, people dealing in travellers-cheque, casinos, and currency dealers. This law is enacted to ensure protection both for the people as well as for the government. From the community perspective, it will promote privacy of individuals (Clarke, 2014).

Also, it will increase transparency in the system so that people can place their trust in it. Similarly, when the banking and other financial institutions follow this act, it will provide them with certain information. They will verify with an objective to ensure that there are no transactions dealing with terrorism funding as well as money laundering activities in the nation.

Corporation Standards

Majority of the Corporation Standards of the Australian Corporations Law are borrowed from the UK Company Law. The law now follows single and national statute the Corporations Act of 2001. Also, this statute is administered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The Corporations Act 2001 that deals with the business entities in Australia at both federal and interstate level (Greenleaf, 2014). 

The regulatory authorities will be monitoring activities and procedures of the organization and will make sure that the corporations are not violating any of the acts or procedures. It will thereby prevent them from participating into fraudulent activities and subsequently protect consumer's interest in a given situation.

Financial Services

Under the ASIC's regulatory guidance and as per the Corporations Act 2001, this act imposes a single licensing regime for financial advice, financial dealings, and financial sales. The regulatory framework associated with this act covers a wide range of financial products and the regulatory authority ensures that there are no ethical breaches in the system and subsequently ensures stability of the financial system in the company.

This act will also provide more insights about the financial market and will thereby support the government in taking effective and efficient decisions (Greenleaf, 2014). The objective of this law is to promote financial stability and subsequently protect the rights of the investors and people of the society. 

Environmental Sustainability 

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 was formulated with an objective to manage and protect nationally and internationally flora, fauna, heritage places, ecological communities, and entire biodiversity as defined in the Act. Today, with increasing challenges of pollution, deforestation, and non-supportive environmental activities, both flora and fauna are affected (Greenleaf, 2014). It is not only polluting environment but is also disturbing the living cycles of several flowers, plants, and animals. 

To ensure environmental sustainability, there are eight matters identified in this act of national environmental significance. These include - world heritage properties, wetlands of international importance, national heritage places, commonwealth marine areas, migratory species, listed threatened species, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and nuclear actions. The regulatory authority of this act takes necessary legal steps against those that breach these eight matters. Thus, with an intention to protect them against such activities, this act was formulated that will improve quality of air, promote afforestation activities, and also prevent land and water against pollution.


  1. Research Activity

National Australia Bank Group (NAB) is of the four largest financial institutions in Australia in terms of earnings, market capitalization, and customers. It was ranked 21st largest bank in the world in terms of market capitalization. The bank provides loans, equity for development projects, guarantees, and other financial products to the customers depending on the need. 

There are policies defined by this bank with an aim to increase financial awareness among the customers, overcome fraudulent activities, promote ethics, increase transparency and accountability, and thereby deploy financial sustainability in the organization (Hattingh et al., 2015).

Purpose of the Privacy Policy

The company has devised privacy policy with an objective to protect private and personal information of the customers. The organization gathers information such as name, email address, date of birth, telephone number, social media handles, tax file number, health and biometric information, credit information, and other transactional information to make sure that they can provide best services to the customers. 

The company collects this information with objectives that include - providing information on different financial products and services, processing application for a given product or service, ensuring security while offering the services, and exchange information with legal advisers of the bank. The bank also makes sure that the information provided is true and correct, is relevant as per the banking requirements, adheres to the norms of privacy act, and follows ethical norms of the organization.

This policy is defined to spread awareness among the customers so that they can get an idea about pricing of the different financial products offered by this bank. Also, it will enhance transparency between the customer and the bank, which will subsequently increase trust of the customers (O’Brien et al., 2015). 

Ethical Requirements

Under the Australian Privacy Act of 1988, there are ethical requirements associated with the privacy policy of the organization. The top-level management of the bank has defined an ethical approach to work in a given banking environment. All the employees of the organization need to follow the Ethical Code of Conduct to overcome unethical breaches in the organization. 

Second, the management team makes sure that while pricing their financial products they do not add any type of hidden expenses to it; it will provide accurate and transparent pricing of all their products. It will thereby provide customers a better view of these products and will subsequently ease the process of transaction (Randall et al., 2014). 

The bank adheres to the Financial Transaction reports Act 1988 (FTR Act) so that they can avoid anti-money laundering activities and overcome fraudulent breaches in the organization. It is also necessary for them to share and provide information to the taxation authorities whenever required. There is also the Cheque Act of 1986 that demonstrates the given bill of exchange will be exercised as specified by the bank and as payable on demand. It is necessary to follow these norms as it will help the company overcome unethical challenges in the organization. The bank thereby strictly meets all the ethical requirements to make sure following of ethical principles in the organization. 

Conclusion

The bank has defined several norms to ensure complying with the regulation rules and acts and also to overcome the operational risks associated with the organization. The company has implemented different policies related to staff regulation, disciplinary measures, grievances, disaster recovery, policy on disclosure of Information and Confidentiality, Anti-Fraud, Corruption and Money Laundering Policy, Information Technology Guidelines, and Procurement Principles so that it can increase transparency and accountability in its daily routine practices (Randall et al., 2014). 

Also, the Human Resources (HR) department of the organization provides necessary training to all the employees on these policies and norms; it will help the organization overcome operational risks at the workplace. The organization also reviews and monitors the performance of all these policies and modifies it wherever required. It is necessary to have such financial policies at the workplace to provide financial protection both to the customers and to the bank as well. 

Definition of the Terms

  • The National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009
  • The Privacy Act of 1988
  • The Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 (FTR Act)
  • Corporations Act 2001
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (CWLTH) (AML/CTF Act)
  • Financial Services Act 2013
  • The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
  • National Australia Bank Group (NAB)
  • The Cheque Act of 1986
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