Australia

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Landmark decision under the UCT regime

The recent Federal Court decision in ASIC v Auto & General Insurance Company Limited [2024] FCA 272 is the first decision to apply the unfair contract terms (UCT) regime in the context of insurance since its expansion to insurance policies on 5 April 2021. On 22 March 2024, Jackman J delivered a judgment in favour … 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 9 January 2024 although if there are any significant developments we will endeavour to provide an update.… Continue Reading

Gearing up for mission critical – APRA’s new expectations for insurers

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has finalised Prudential Standard CPS 230 (Operational Risk Management) (CPS 230) following a year-long industry consultation. The new prudential standard commences on 1 July 2025 and applies to all APRA-regulated entities, encompassing banks, insurers (general, life and health) and registrable superannuation entity licensees. This article focuses on the implications … Continue Reading

A case of déjà vu?  Unfair Contract Terms changes are coming to insurance contracts…again

If you are feeling a case of déjà vu after reading this headline, you are not alone. Just over two years since the unfair contract terms (UCT) regime came into effect for insurance contracts, a revamped regime commences on 9 November 2023. Insurers are yet again reviewing insurance contracts that may now be caught by … Continue Reading

Australia proposes regulatory framework for crypto exchanges and other digital asset platforms

On 16 October 2023 the Australian Federal Treasury released its public consultation paper regarding the proposed regulatory regime for digital asset platforms. The proposed framework highlights the Australian Government’s intention to ensure consistent oversight and safeguards for consumers by regulating digital asset platforms and other intermediaries within the existing Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) regime … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap-up: June-July 2023

The months of June and July have seen a flurry of regulatory developments. Treasury has committed to adopting the bulk of the Quality of Advice Review Recommendations, published its second consultation paper on climate disclosure and has announced its intention to uplift Superannuation Performance Testing. As expected with the close of the financial year, disclosure … Continue Reading

Treasury releases consultation for FFSP licensing regime

This article was co-authored with Abhi Ravishankar and Joel McKay In a much anticipated development, Treasury has released for consultation its exposure draft on Australian financial service (AFS) license exemptions for foreign financial services providers (FFSPs) (the exposure draft Bill and explanatory memorandum can be found here). This consultation comes off the back of the previous … Continue Reading

Maintaining the status quo: FFSP transitional relief to continue into March 2025

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has published a media release to confirm that the current transitional licensing relief for foreign financial services providers (FFSPs) providing financial services to Australian wholesale clients has been extended for a further 12 months to 31 March 2025. FFSPs who held the benefit of “sufficient equivalence relief” under certain ASIC class … Continue Reading

Are insurers looking FAR enough ahead? APRA and ASIC consult on proposed Regulator rules

While the Financial Accountability Regime Bill 2023 (Cth) (Bill)is still before the Senate, APRA and ASIC (Regulators) have already released draft Regulator rules for consultation. The Regulator rules provide some guidance on what APRA considers a key function for the purposes of assigning responsibility to ‘accountable persons’. If passed by Parliament, the Bill will establish … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap-up: May 2023

The month of May saw a broad range of activities within the financial services industry. ASIC released the results of its review into compliance with the design and distribution obligations as well as updating the industry on their greenwashing actions. ASIC also commenced proceedings against an insurer, alleging unfair contract terms in an insurance contract, … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap-up: April 2023

April was another fast moving month in the financial services sector. ASIC released updates to the breach reporting requirements to introduce new guidance and clarify existing guidance regarding reportable situations. The regulator also provided further communications surrounding the superannuation performance test, as well as commenced proceedings against an insurance company alleging unfair contract terms in … Continue Reading

FS Monthly Wrap-Up – March 2023

The month March was a busy month which saw some significant developments in the financial services sector. Notably, ASIC is currently consulting on class orders about financial requirements in considering whether to remake certain class orders. The regulator is also consulting on ‘sunsetting’ class orders changing responsible entities and equal treatment. ASIC also granted conditional … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap-up: February 2023

The month of February saw ASIC and APRA outlining their plans for the year ahead. ASIC announced that it would be expanding its enforcement focus areas in 2023 and published a timeline for regulatory developments. It also released its first Indigenous Financial Services Framework, which was a landmark document for the regulator. APRA released its … Continue Reading

Australian Managed funds laws under the spotlight

Today’s announcement of a review into managed investment schemes signals a potentially significant overhaul of the laws governing Australia’s main investment vehicle. In arguably the broadest review since that undertaken by the former Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee in 2012, the Assistant Treasurer announced that the Federal Government will undertake a review of “the regulatory … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap-up: December 2022 and January 2023

As 2022 came to a close, the regulators concluded the year with a busy month in December. Notably, ASIC ended the year by reminding stakeholders of the importance of ensuring that claims made in relation to a product were accurate, especially in the context of environmental claims, reflecting ASIC’s increased focus on greenwashing in 2022. … 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 9 January 2023 although if there are any significant developments we will endeavour to provide an update.… Continue Reading

Relief from Requirement to provide FSGs for Authorised Representatives until November 2027

On 24 November 2022, following an application from an insurer and further consultation with industry, consumers and government stakeholders, ASIC introduced the ASIC Corporations (Financial Services Guides) Instrument 2022/910 (Instrument) to provide relief to certain Authorised Representatives of Australian financial services licensees (ARs) from complying with the requirement to provide a Financial Services Guide. This … Continue Reading

Financial Services monthly wrap-up: November 2022

The month of November saw a flurry of regulatory activity by APRA and ASIC across strategic focus areas: crypto-asset regulation, enforcement of design and distribution obligations, reforming operational risk requirements for super funds and improving governance practices across the superannuation industry at investment and board levels. Meanwhile, AUSTRAC launched two consultations on proposed changes and … Continue Reading

NRF Shareholder Collaboration Tool

Institutional investors collaborate with each other when communicating with investee companies’ management regarding, for example, ESG matters. Such shareholder collaboration leads to challenges in multiple legal areas. Minimising such legal risk is key. NRF’s Shareholder Collaboration Tool allows Institutional investors to confidently collaborate, while reducing the burden on legal teams to manage the associated risks. … Continue Reading

Financial Services monthly wrap-up: October 2022

October has been a busy month for regulators with both ASIC and APRA releasing their reports on the 2021/22 financial year. The chairs of both regulators, in addressing the House of Representatives, signalled their progress in the past year and their goals for the year ahead. The month of October 2022 also saw both ASIC … Continue Reading

Financial Services monthly wrap-up: September 2022

September saw a variety of regulatory changes from ASIC, APRA, AUSTRAC and ACCC in the financial services sector. Meanwhile, ASIC conducted a review into claims made by funds in their marketing material, finding that many did not adequately explain the risk profile of the investment. ASIC also exempted insurers from releasing a cash settlement fact … Continue Reading

Financial Services monthly wrap-up: August 2022

The month of August saw a broad array of regulatory updates from ASIC and APRA. Notably, ASIC announced an extension of the transitional relief for foreign financial services providers from the requirement to hold an Australian Financial Services licence. August also saw ASIC release its corporate plan illustrating its strategic priorities for the next four … Continue Reading

Financial Services monthly wrap-up: July 2022

The month of July saw a suite of regulatory and industry updates following the start of a new financial year. Notably, ASIC announced assistance for unlisted companies and issued its report on its enforcement and regulatory actions. It also announced that it will be taking new measures designed to strengthen the financial system by regular … Continue Reading

Financial Services monthly wrap-up: June 2022

The month of June saw an increase of material regulatory and industry updates following the Australian federal election. ASIC released further industry guidance for its expectations regarding sustainability disclosure and has released the remade instruments on disclosure relief for product disclosure statements, Financial Service Guides and superannuation dashboards. As we move towards the second superannuation … Continue Reading
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