Changes are coming...

Changes are coming...

During 2016 there were a number of important changes to the regulations that govern the way we operate, set by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), which come into effect at the end of 2017.

We are currently working through a detailed process to ensure UC Invest's compliance with these new regulations, which will include changes to our corporate structure and services provided. 

A preliminary explanation of these changes was provided in the most recent edition of Investor Returns.  

Below you will find a number of Q&As which we hope will provide some clairity for investors as we work through this process.

Please don't be concerned, we will be contacting all investors to explain the changes that impact your investments in due course.

What has actually changed?

The regulations and exemption conditions under which UC Invest has operated for many years have recently changed. The most obvious change for personal/retail investors will be the closure of at-call products (Money Manager and eSaver accounts) by the end of 2017. 

From 1 January 2018 the shortest term that UC Invest will be able to offer retail investors is 31 days.

The other significant change will be an update to the corporate structure of UC Invest. In order to continue providing investment services to the Uniting Church community, a new company will be established which will hold an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL). This new company will remain fully controlled by the Uniting Church SA.

In the coming months we will be sending all personal/retail investors an offer to transfer their investments to the new corporate structure. In order to continue investing with UC Invest after 1 January 2018 you will need to accept this offer (your current term, interest rate and account settings will remain unchanged).

We will be assisting all investors with this process in due course.

Why have these changes occurred?

Federal Government regulators, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Australia Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), recently completed a review of the exemptions which are provided to Charitable Development Funds (CDFs) in Australia.

The regulators made changes to a number of the regulations and exemption conditions which apply to UC Invest. We are taking steps to ensure that UC Invest continues to remain compliant with these regulations.

Who do these changes affect?

The changes predominantly affect our personal/retail investors.

You will most likely be classified as a retail investor if you are:

  • An individual or personal investor (this includes joint account holders)
  • A group, organisation or association which is not directly controlled by the Uniting Church SA
  • A private company
  • A self managed superannuation fund

Wholesale investors are not expected to be impacted by these changes.

Is my money still safe?

There will be no change to how safe your money is with UC Invest. Your funds continue to be backed by the total assets of the Uniting Church in South Australia.

Are the same people still looking after my funds?

Yes. The people on the new company’s board, management and staff will remain the same friendly and skilled people that you are familiar with.

Am I still helping the Church?

Yes, absolutely. Every dollar invested with UC Invest will be contributing to the mission and ministry of the Uniting Church in South Australia and beyond.

Why can’t I keep my Money Manager or eSaver account?

One of the specific conditions of the new regulations is that we can no longer offer investments with a maturity (or notice period) of less than 31 days to personal/retail investors.

All Money Manager and eSaver accounts for personal/retail investors must be closed by 31 December 2017.

Towards the end of the year, we will offer to transfer your Money Manager or eSaver account to a new 31 Day Notice Account, a term investment or return your funds to a nominated bank account in your name.

What is a 31 Day Notice Account?

A 31 Day Notice Account (sometimes referred to as a notice of withdrawal account) allows investors to add funds at any time but requires 31 days notice before a withdrawal can be processed.

  • Investors can lodge funds at any time
  • Available to all investors – retail and wholesale
  • Any requested withdrawal cannot occur until after the minimum notice period of 31 days
  • Variable interest rate
  • Interest credited monthly
  • This account will be officially launched later in the year – it is not currently available.

Can I still transfer money online?

From 1 January 2018, the only option that will be provided online for personal/retail investors will be the ability to view your investment balances and transaction details.

What will happen to my Money Manager account?

Your Money Manager account must be closed by 31 December 2017.

What will happen to my eSaver account?

Your eSaver account must be closed by 31 December 2017.

What is happening to the Local Support Scheme?

The Local Support Scheme will be closed by 31 December 2017.

What will happen to my Funeral Fund account?

Your Funeral Fund account will continue as usual.

Can I access a term investment before it matures?

A fixed term investment can only be accessed at the scheduled maturity of the investment.

In some cases you may apply for early release of funds in the event of financial hardship. You should contact our office on 1300 274 151 if you are experiencing financial hardship and require early access to your funds.

So what do I have to do to continue investing with UC Invest?

At this point you don’t need to do anything, it’s still too early.

We will be contacting all investors in due course with more information and instructions regarding the steps that need to be taken. Please don’t worry if you haven’t heard from us, we will be going through this process carefully and all investors will be contacted before the end of the year.