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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

Happy Easter to our readers

To all of our global readers we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Easter. We will resume posting material on 26 April although if there are any significant developments we will endeavour to provide an update.… Continue Reading

COVID-19 test case #2: The sequel to ‘A dry cleaner, dentist, travel agent, personal trainer, café owner and friends walk into a bar…’

The sequel to the business interruption second test case is now here. On Monday, the Full Federal Court handed down its decision in the second business interruption test case appeal.  The decision is an appeal from the judgment of Justice Jagot in relation to various business interruption insurance claims. The Full Federal Court also handed … Continue Reading

Crypto regulation is coming…what does this mean for insurance?

Following the recommendations of the Senate Select Committee on Australia as a Financial and Technology Centre, Treasury has released a consultation paper on licensing and custody requirements for Crypto Asset Secondary Service Providers (CASSPrs).  Consultation is currently open and will close on 27 May 2022. What is the consultation about? The consultation relates to approaches to … 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

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to our readers

To all of our global readers we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We will resume posting material following the festive period on 6 January 2021 although if there are any significant developments we will endeavour to provide an update.… Continue Reading

Winds of change as Government wades into cyclone reinsurance pool

On 3 December 2021, the Government released draft legislation for the establishment of a reinsurance pool for cyclones and related flood damage.  The release of the draft legislation comes after multiple government enquiries and reviews found that insurance for households and small businesses caused by extreme weather events is becoming less accessible and affordable. As … Continue Reading

The FAR is near for insurers: Financial Accountability Regime Bill introduced into Parliament

On 28 October 2021, the Financial Accountability Regime Bill 2021 (Bill) was introduced into the House of Representatives to establish the much anticipated Financial Accountability Regime (FAR or the Regime). If passed, the Bill will expand and replace the current Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) under the Banking Act 1959 (Cth) and extend BEAR-like accountability … Continue Reading

The drinks are on the insurer: Insurance Australia Ltd trading as CGU Insurance v MOS Beverages Pty Ltd [2021] FCAFC 165

In a significant decision for insurance contracts in various industries, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has dismissed an appeal concerning the rights of a ‘third party beneficiary’ under an insurance policy. Insurers should take steps to ensure their policy wordings and policy schedules accurately reflect those they intend to cover. Otherwise, … 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

Green light on 5 October regulatory changes

On 5 October 2021, a number of insurance regulatory changes affecting insurers, reinsurers, coverholders, underwriting agencies and brokers commenced under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act).  In this article we will briefly cover the regulatory reforms that have now taken place and look at what might be next. 1.   Product design and distribution obligations … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap-up

The month of August 2021 saw a release of anticipated updates to the upcoming changes in the funds management, superannuation and insurance sectors. Notably, Treasury has released the draft updated Corporate Collective Investment Vehicle fund legislation and tax framework, the release of the first Your Future Your Super performance test results and APRA and ASIC … Continue Reading

Casino left without a cent as Federal Court rules on Business Interruption coverage claim

A significant Covid-19 related business interruption claim has been decided in favour of insurers. In Star Entertainment Group Limited v Chubb Insurance Australia Ltd [2021] FCA 907, the Federal Court dismissed Star Entertainment Group’s claim for business interruption losses under an industrial special risks (ISR) policy. It appears Star has appealed the decision. Not surprisingly, … Continue Reading

Government fills the void for unfair contract term enforcement

Following its adoption by insurers in April this year, unfair contract terms laws are set for another revamp. The Treasury has just released draft legislation which will make unfair contract terms unlawful. These laws have been foreshadowed for some time (see our previous update). Currently no pecuniary penalties apply once a contract term is declared … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap-up July 2021

The month of July 2021 saw the release of various anticipated consultations for the financial services sector. In this wrap-up, we feature: ASIC’s consultation on the Financial Accountability Regime (FAR) draft bill which is set to improve the risk and governance cultures of the banking, insurance and superannuation sectors. Guidance on hawking reforms and the … Continue Reading

A tale of two claims: Federal Court hands down two judgments on non-disclosure

In what has proven to be the best and worst of times for insurers, two recent Federal Court of Australia decisions shed further light on when an insurer may be able (or in the case of the second case, unable) to exercise its statutory rights in the event of non-disclosure. In All Class Insurance Brokers … Continue Reading

Not FAR to go until accountability regimes come to insurance

The Treasury has released for consultation the draft bill for the Financial Accountability Regime (FAR or the Regime). The Regime will apply to the banking, superannuation and insurance sectors. Importantly, the Regime strengthens the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR), and extends the regime, in line with the recommendations from the Financial Services Royal Commission, to … Continue Reading

Are insurers still allowed to talk to customers? ASIC proposes changes to Hawking Prohibitions regulatory guidance

On 21 July 2021, ASIC released Consultation Paper 346 and a draft updated Regulatory Guide 38 (RG 38) to reflect new legislative changes that strengthen the current hawking prohibitions. As many in the industry will know, new hawking prohibitions come into effect on 5 October 2021. The new hawking prohibitions will not only affect insurers, … Continue Reading

Treasury drops-off products from add-on insurance reforms

We previously wrote on the upcoming implementation of the 2021 insurance regulatory reforms, including the deferred sales model for add-on insurance products. On 8 July 2021, the Treasurer announced which insurance products will be exempt from the deferred sales model. What is the Deferred Sales Model? The Government passed the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal … Continue Reading
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