Australia

Topic: Funds management

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How to avoid greenwashing: New sustainability disclosure guidance for managed funds and super

As we have previously reported (see here), the law on sustainability-related disclosures is an evolving area and increasingly a topic of concern in the face of regulatory enforcement and class action risk. Significant international developments have included the establishment of the International Sustainability Standards Board and the recent proposal by the US SEC for new environment … Continue Reading

Financial Services monthly wrap-up: May 2022

The month of May brought a lower number of material regulatory and industry updates due to the Australian federal election. ASIC cancelled the registration of a number of SMSF auditors for failing to lodge their annual statements. In superannuation, APRA published its Quarterly Superannuation Performance publication and Quarterly MySuper Statistics Report, which provides material superannuation … Continue Reading

Regulation Tomorrow podcast – Australian wrap up

The first instalment in our new Regulation Tomorrow podcast series, the Australian wrap up, is now available to stream and download. In this month’s episode Jon Ireland, Ray Giblett and Timothy Chan take a deeper dive on some of the key issues identified in April’s monthly wrap up covering the recent APRA life insurance statistics, … Continue Reading

Financial Services monthly wrap-up: April 2022

The month of April saw the release of the ASX’s consultation paper ‘Enhancing the ASX Investment Products Offering’, as well as the publication by APRA and ASIC of the latest data pertaining to claims and disputes outcomes for life insurance. April also saw ASIC extend the relief from certain dollar disclosures in PDSs for litigation … Continue Reading

Financial Services monthly wrap-up: March 2022

The month of March saw developments in relation to major legislative initiatives and regulatory consultations. Notably, the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure Protection) Bill 2022 passed both Houses of Parliament and Amended Regulations pertaining to both Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers and the CCIV framework were registered. ASIC also opened up industry consultation on the AFS … Continue Reading

Financial Services monthly wrap-up – February 2022

Towards the end of February, APRA and ASIC continued to be active. In particular, both regulators released various consultation papers, draft guidance and FAQs for industry. Notably, APRA released a discussion paper on increasing superannuation data transparency and a note to APRA-regulated entities on managing compliance risk. ASIC also remade class order relief permitting insurers … Continue Reading

Financial Services monthly wrap-up – December 2021 and January 2022

As we completed a year and ushered in a new one, the December and January period turned out to be an eventful one for the insurance, managed funds and superannuation sectors. APRA has published its first ‘Choice Heatmap’, alongside its annual MySuper Heatmap, which track changes in the decision-making of super members. Meanwhile, ASIC has … Continue Reading

CCIVs are to become a reality

On 10 February 2022, the Senate passed the long-awaited Corporate Collective Investment Vehicle (CCIV) legislation with bi-partisan support. As a result, the new funds framework is now expected to commence from 1 July 2022. This marks a significant milestone in the development of Australia’s funds management industry, broadening out the range of investment structures. The … Continue Reading

New licensing exemptions for foreign firms but questions remain on transition

In a welcome development, on 20 December 2021 Federal Treasury released exposure draft legislation implementing exemptions from Australian financial services (AFS) licensing requirements for foreign financial service providers (FFSPs). This follows through on the Federal Government’s intention (announced in last year’s Budget) to restore previously well-established relief for FFSPs and create a fast-tracked licensing process … Continue Reading

Financial Services monthly wrap-up September 2021

September continued to be a busy month in the funds, super and insurance sectors, as the industry is in the final stages of preparing for the anticipated breach-reporting, anti-hawking reforms and new customer complaints handling requirements which are effective from October. Notably, ASIC has provided further guidance on each of these topics to assist the … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap-up: November 2020

In November 2020, ASIC released a number of anticipated industry reports, providing an update on the buy now pay later industry as well as licensing and professional registration activities for 2020. The superannuation and funds management sector also had some notable developments, including the exposure draft legislation and explanatory memorandum released as part of the … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap-up: October 2020

The month of October 2020 has seen ASIC use its product intervention powers by imposing conditions on the issue and distribution of contracts for difference (CFDs) to retail clients as well as releasing updated guidance on unfair contract terms laws for insurance. The Federal Government has announced a number of key reforms, including changes to … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap-up: September 2020

In September 2020, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has warned fund managers to ensure that the classification and marketing of their products remain “true to label” particularly as consumers continue to explore alternative investments during these times of market volatility. With the impact of COVID-19 continuing, ASIC has also extended a number of … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap-up: August 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to provide uncertainty and challenges for all industry sectors, the funds and financial industry has remained in the spotlight for August 2020. In particular, ASIC has reminded responsible entities of their requirements with respect to valuing managed fund assets and APRA has assessed the management of superannuation fund liquidity due … Continue Reading

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
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