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Financial Services Bulletin - December 2017

Welcome to the December edition of our Financial Services Bulletin

With the end of the year practically in sight this is our last edition of the Financial Services Bulletin for 2017. Read on for industry news, case law developments, our selection of FOS and SCT determinations and our topical “Turks Q&A”.

The FSB has been another huge success in 2017 and we would like to thank you, our readers, for being part of it. We wish you all the very best for the festive season and a bright and prosperous New Year!


TurksLegal 2017 Highlights
This year has been one of innovation and excitement. From launching a range of innovative publications, to being named a finalist in the professional services firm of the year, 2017 has been full of highlights. Thanks for coming along for the ride – we couldn't have done it without you! Read more

Expansion of Melbourne Financial Services team
We are delighted to announce the further expansion of our Melbourne office by welcoming back Sofia Papachristos to TurksLegal as a Partner in our Insurance and Financial Services team. Read more

2017 ALUCA TurksLegal Scholarship winner's paper
Jennifer Jackson, Rehabilitation Consultant at CommInsure, won this year's Scholarship for her outstanding essay on genetic testing, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the Australian life insurance industry’s current approach to this issue, how other comparable countries are choosing to handle this issue and provides well researched recommendations on how we as an industry should respond. Read paper


Insurance in Superannuation Voluntary Code of Practice
The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group released the Insurance in Superannuation Voluntary Code of Practice for superannuation trustees on Monday, 18 December 2017. Read more

PJC inquiry findings postponed… again
On 15 November 2017, the Senate extended the reporting date for the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Corporations and Financial Services from 7 December 2017 to 31 March 2018. Read more

Australian Financial Complaints Authority
The Federal Government’s new "one stop shop” to deal with financial services complaints has come one step closer to reality. Read more

ANZIIF Life Insurance Breakfast wrap-up
Sold out for the second year in a row, the ANZIIF Life Insurance Breakfast held on 18 October this year, showcased global insights and local changes in a fast evolving and dynamic industry. Read more


Intermittently TPD
Williams v Mercer Superannuation (Australia) Limited & Ors (2017) QDC 289
On 1 December 2017, the District Court of Queensland delivered a judgment on a claim relating to a disputed TPD benefit under a group life insurance policy that appears to expand the types of alternative employment that insurers can consider when assessing such claims to include work that is “intermittent.” Read more

Fishy argument rejected by Court of Appeal
Fenton v AIA Australia Ltd [2017] VSCA 331
It is often argued that treating doctor evidence is more persuasive than IME opinions. In addressing the question of whether and why an insured is disabled, a recent judgement of the Victorian Court of Appeal notes a distinction can be drawn where the cause of a disability is in issue, rather than the extent of that disability. This is particularly so if the patient is found to be an unreliable witness. Read more

Longitudinal evidence from a treating medical practitioner preferred
Hellessey v Metlife Insurance Limited [2017] NSWSC 1284
This judgment is a reminder that longitudinal evidence from a treating medical practitioner may be insightful and persuasive in determining whether an insured has a ‘real chance’ of returning to relevant work because it can be informative as to the prospect of the insured’s future recovery. Read more


  • Insurer's decision not to proceed with assessment of claim deemed fair and reasonable, read more
  • Total disability claim found to be continuous claim, read more


Murder by a co-insured
In this edition of TurksLegal Q&A, we respond to a client's question on how payments into court work. Read more

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