Australia

Topic: Funds management

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Financial services monthly wrap up: May 2020

With the impact of COVID-19 still being felt, May 2020 has seen further responses from the Federal Government and regulators to address risks, with a particular focus on recovery. Many consultations and reforms have been delayed as a consequence, including the commencement of the design and distribution obligations and recommendations from the Financial Services Royal … Continue Reading

New client briefing note – The Master-KVG: an attractive option post-AIFMD

In order to sell their expertise to German institutional and retail investors, non-German asset managers must find ways to operate in the German investment market. This has become much more difficult under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive. An attractive option is to cooperate with a German Master-KVG. We have recently published a new client … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap-up: March 2020

March 2020 has seen a number of responses from the Government, regulators, associations and industry generally addressing issues and risks from the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This update includes key regulatory responses in the wake of COVID-19 for the funds and financial services sector. Of the notable developments outside COVID-19, on 10 March 2020 … Continue Reading

The new rules for foreign financial service providers in Australia: What now?

Introduction On 10 March 2020, following extensive consultation with industry, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) released its new regulatory framework for foreign financial services providers (FFSPs). These new rules are critically important for foreign firms (including asset managers and funds, brokers, foreign banks and other offshore institutions) undertaking wholesale financial services business into … Continue Reading

ASIC releases new regulatory framework for foreign financial service providers

On 10 March 2020, ASIC published its media release announcing the new regulatory framework for foreign financial services providers (FFSPs) providing financial services to wholesale clients in Australia. Existing licensing relief has been extended as follows: ASIC has provided a 2 year transition period until 31 March 2022 for FFSPs relying on the sufficient equivalence … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap up – November 2019

The month of November 2019 saw the much-anticipated updates to Regulatory Guide 97 ‘Disclosing fees and costs in PDSs and periodic statements’ released by ASIC, providing further reforms and guidance in relation to fees and costs disclosure requirements. In addition, APRA has released updated information sheets and prudential standards addressing concerns such as governance, culture, … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap up – October 2019

In October 2019, the much-anticipated bill to end grandfathered conflicted remuneration was passed, with the ban effective from 1 January 2021. There have also been recent developments in the Courts in relation to the definition of personal advice as well as a joint ASIC report on the role and shortcomings of disclosure in financial services. … Continue Reading

What do ASIC’s proposals mean for foreign financial services providers?

Introduction As noted in our earlier update, ASIC has released its updated proposals for the licensing relief available to foreign financial services providers (FFSPs) servicing wholesale clients in Australia, with the release of Consultation Paper 315. In summary, ASIC has proposed to: extend the expiry of the sufficient equivalence relief and limited connection relief until … Continue Reading

ASIC consults on its proposal to repeal and replace the ASIC class orders for Foreign Financial Services Providers with modified licensing regime

ASIC has released CP 301, a consultation paper which proposes a modified licensing regime (in place of the current FFSP relief available for FFSPs in certain jurisdictions) for foreign financial services providers carrying on a financial services business in Australia, with submissions due by 31 July 2018. Background In 2003, ASIC issued class order relief … Continue Reading

Listed funds holding crypto-assets: ASX’s position

Increasingly, clients are coming to us for regulatory advice surrounding the mining of cryptocurrency tokens, operating digital currency exchanges, raising funds through Initial Coin Offerings, and investments involving cryptocurrencies. On the heels of such heightened interest in investing in cryptocurrencies, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has released their guidance with respect to Listed Investment Companies … Continue Reading

Annual Financial Institution Symposium

Norton Rose Fulbright is pleased to offer you a rare opportunity to hear from some of the leading voices in risk and disruption. We will be hosting our annual Financial Institutions Symposium in our Sydney office on Thursday 27 October 2016. Discussion will focus on current ‘Risks & Disruptors’ in the global technology and regulatory … Continue Reading

New incentives for investors in early stage venture capital funds

Executive Summary The recent passing of the Tax Laws Amendment (Tax Incentives for Innovation) Act 2016 (Act) reflects the Federal Government’s commitment to further its National Innovation and Science Agenda.  The measures should help in boosting the use of pooled venture capital focused funds as a way of channelling investor capital into otherwise cash starved … Continue Reading

Product suitability obligation and intervention powers to be fast-tracked: Government responds to calls for Royal Commission into the banks

In response to Opposition calls for a Royal Commission into the banking sector, the Australian Government has announced a $127 million reform package aimed at increasing the powers of Australia’s corporate watchdog, ASIC. A key component of that package will be the accelerated implementation of two key recommendations of the Financial System Inquiry: an obligation on … Continue Reading

Global Asset Management Quarterly – Issue 1 now available

The first edition of our Global Asset Management Quarterly is now available. This publication highlights key developments that will be of interest to and affect our asset management clients, including market trends and developments in tax and buy-side regulation globally. View A global briefing on developments and market trends, March 2016… Continue Reading

ASIC consults on online calculators – an opportunity for regulatory innovation

The drive towards automated financial services will gather pace in 2016 and here’s the next opportunity to influence the debate. After updating its relief to better facilitate electronic delivery of mandated disclosure and the use of innovative product disclosure statements (see RG 221), ASIC has released Consultation Paper CP 249 Remaking ASIC class order on generic … Continue Reading

The Paris Agreement: Moving from climate conscious to climate compliance

This blog post was co-authored by Phoebe Saintilan The ‘Paris Agreement’ was adopted on 12 December 2015 at the COP 21 UN Climate Change Conference (Conference). It may potentially herald the end of the fossil fuel era and a global move towards a low carbon future and renewable energy. This will undoubtedly influence the decisions … Continue Reading

Government response to the Financial System Inquiry

Government releases its Response to FSI Final Report. The Australian Government has released its Response to last December’s Final Report of the Financial System Inquiry or ‘Murray Inquiry’. The Government appears to have accepted almost all of the Inquiry’s recommendations and has also proposed additional measures that are consistent with the Murray Inquiry’s underlying philosophy. … Continue Reading

New ‘Significant Investor’ Visa regime

The new framework for the Significant Investor (SIV) and Premium Investor (PIV) programmes has now been implemented and is effective from 1 July 2015. The SIV programme provides the opportunity for foreign persons to obtain an Australian visa by investing at least AUD$5 million over four years in complying Australian investments. In order to comply … Continue Reading

Financial Services Tomorrow…

We are on the cusp of a new era in the evolution of the financial services industry. New technology, data analytics and behavioural economics are promising to revolutionise the customer experience. If the regulators remove the regulatory barriers, then using multi-media to deliver mandated and voluntary disclosure in different formats and through different devices will … Continue Reading

Regulatory disruption

Technology led innovation can cause much indigestion for conduct and prudential regulators as they try to find the right regulatory pigeion hole for innovators in their regimes that were not built to handle such innovation.  It is this disruptive impact of innovation that is shaping the regulation of tomorrow. Numerous conduct regulators around the world have acknowledged that a mandatory … Continue Reading

Australian government announces tightened rules around foreign investment in Australian agricultural land

On 11 February 2015, the Australian government announced that it would be changing the threshold for notifications of agricultural land purchases by foreign investors from $252 million to $15 million from 1 March 2015. Existing investments included in the threshold The new $15 million threshold is a cumulative threshold – it applies to a foreign … Continue Reading

FSI Consumer Protection Recommendation 26: Insurance disclosure tools and calculators

The FSI referred to studies undertaken after natural disasters revealing inadvertent underinsurance due to consumers struggling to make an informed decision about the sum insured.  Survey results highlight that even when consumers take the time to read insurance documentation, including the product disclosure statement, many misunderstand it, scan it briefly due to over-reliance on sales … Continue Reading

FSI Consumer Protection Recommendation 25: Raising the competency of advisers

The FSI has recommended that the competency of financial advice providers be raised and an enhanced register of advisers introduced.  The Government is currently considering mechanisms to raise minimum education requirements for financial advisers and the FSI recommends that this be prioritised. The FSI found that the minimum standards are currently too low which affects … Continue Reading

FSI Consumer Protection Recommendation 24 : Aligning with the interests of consumers

The FSI identified the need to better align the interests of financial services providers with those of consumers to ensure better consumer outcomes. The following strategies have been recommended to address some underlying issues: Raising standards of conduct and levels of professionalism: This aims to address concerns regarding organisational cultures that do not focus on … Continue Reading
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