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First QAR bill updates consent variation rules

The government’s first bill introduced to Parliament on the back of the QAR has added new detail around consent for insurance.

On Wednesday, the government introduced the Treasury Laws Amendment (Delivering Better Financial Outcomes and Other Measures) Bill 2024, which is the first bill resulting from the Quality of Advice Review (QAR).

The release of the bill comes just over four months after the draft legislation was first detailed, with much of the detail in line with the draft in terms of its impact on life risk insurance.

However, the new bill has added specific wording around the need for consent if the rate or frequency of a commission paid to an adviser decreases.

“Consent to the rate or frequency of the monetary benefit disclosed for a general insurance, life risk insurance or consumer credit insurance product is also taken to be consent to a rate or frequency that is less than that disclosed to the client,” the bill’s explanatory memorandum said.

“Therefore, consent for the variation of the rate or frequency is only required where the rate or frequency of the commission is increased relative to that already disclosed to the client.

“This reduces the administrative burden on the advice provider having to seek additional consent when the variation does not impact the provider’s interests which have already been disclosed to the client and is unlikely to influence the client’s decision to consent to the commission.”


Much like in the draft legislation from November, recommendations 13.1 to 13.5 from the QAR final report, which relate to clarifying the rules around conflicted remuneration and the removal of exceptions within the Corporations Act that would no longer be necessary, are also included in the bill.

According to the explanatory memorandum that accompanied the bill, the main purpose of these amendments is to clarify that conflicted remuneration relates to benefits provided by product issuers to financial advisers, not those given by a client.

The explanatory memorandum said: “The new definition builds on the former one, so that conflicted remuneration means:

  • Any benefit (monetary or not) that is given to an AFS licensee or an authorised representative of an AFS licensee, who provides financial product advice to retail clients.
  • That because of the benefit, could reasonably be expected to influence the recommendation or the advice given by the licensee or authorised representative to the retail client.
  • But the benefit is not given by a retail client (or on their behalf) to the licensee or authorised representative in relation to financial product advice provided by the licensee or authorised representative.”