Australia

Topic: Regulators

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ASIC consults on crypto-asset based listed funds and other investment products

On 30 June 2021, ASIC released its consultation paper 343: Crypto-assets as underlying assets for ETPs and other investment products (CP343). The consultation has a broad remit and potentially significant consequences for trading in and investment exposure to crypto-assets. ASIC is seeking feedback on proposals about exchange-traded products (ETPs) and other investment products that provide … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap-up – April 2021

During April 2021, ASIC has used its product intervention powers to ban the sale of binary options to retail clients, as well as to extend temporary relief instruments amidst COVID-19. ASIC has also urged claims handling firms to lodge licences by next month. The superannuation sector has seen the release of exposure draft regulations to … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap-up – March 2021

March 2021 has seen the release of legislative reforms to advice fee consent and lack of independence disclosure by financial advisers. ASIC has clarified its position on virtual AGMs and released an interim report on competition in the managed funds industry. APRA has urged life insurers and superannuation funds to ensure their insurance offerings and … Continue Reading

ASIC releases practical field guide on consumer-centred remediation programs

To help licensees design and execute consumer-centred remediation programs, ASIC has recently released a practical field guide titled ‘Making it right: How to run a consumer-centred remediation’ (the Field Guide). A consumer-centred remediation is one that puts the interests of consumers at the heart of every stage of the remediation. The Field Guide outlines 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: July 2020

The month of July 2020 has seen a number of regulatory updates, guides and reminders to the financial services industry addressing the continuing challenges due to the impact of COVID-19. In particular, ASIC has released an update to its Regulatory Guide 97 Disclosing fees and costs in PDSs and periodic statements amending transitional arrangements due to COVID-19, … Continue Reading

Financial services monthly wrap-up: June 2020

In June 2020, the Australian regulators continued to recalibrate their priorities and responses due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, ASIC released reports putting investment funds ‘on notice’ to correct advertising and disclosure, as well as warning consumers and investors on the rise of scams during COVID-19. ASIC has also published … 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

Financial services monthly wrap up: April 2020

In April 2020, the financial services industry has been actively engaging with the Federal Government and regulators in order to address key issues and mitigate risks as a consequence of COVID-19. While regulators have changed certain priorities, with a number of initiatives and consultations put on hold, focus has primarily been on ensuring financial stability … Continue Reading

COVID-19 and regulatory implications for superannuation

The exponential growth and impact of COVID-19 has not only affected most industries and our everyday lives, but in particular has had significant repercussions within the superannuation industry. In this update, we make some general observations and examine the responses from the key Australian regulators and what this means for superannuation trustees, as well as … 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: December 2019 to January 2020

The months of December 2019 and January 2020 have proven to be a busy time for our Government and regulators, with significant changes and proposals for the funds and financial services sector. In particular, Treasury have released 17 bills in response to 22 recommendations made by Commissioner Hayne in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in … 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

Consumer Data Right and Open Banking: Government moves forward on legislation

The Australian Treasury has recently released draft legislation[1] with respect to Consumer Data Right (CDR) for a second round of public consultation.  Under the proposed CDR regime, businesses in certain sectors of the economy will be compelled to provide consumers (individuals and business customers) with access to particular data, including their transactions, usage and product … Continue Reading

New AUSTRAC Compliance Report format for 2018

AUSTRAC has released a new format for reporting entities to submit their annual compliance report (Compliance Report).  This new compliance reporting format comes as a result of AUSTRAC’s reforms to their previous Compliance Report requirements which were suspended for the 2017 reporting period, and is designed so that reporting entities are required to provide more … Continue Reading

APRA’s review of the superannuation prudential framework

On 23 May 2018 APRA announced that it would conduct a review of the superannuation prudential framework that was introduced in 2013 as part of the Stronger Super reforms.[1] The consultation is scheduled to take place over a four-month period and involve both formal and informal feedback from stakeholders across the superannuation industry. The structure … Continue Reading

Australian financial services and sanctions law

“Sanctions” have been in the news quite often lately. The United Nations has adopted, and many of its member-states have imposed, trade and economic sanctions against North Korea to pressure its regime to give up nuclear weapons. Similarly, recent political developments surrounding the so-called “Iran Nuclear Deal” have been all about re-imposing sanctions in relation … Continue Reading

In the age of disruption, ASIC is a pioneer for cross-border regulation

In an attempt to respond swiftly to some of the risks and challenges that have arisen from technological developments and information sharing, ASIC has become one of the first signatories to the newest standards for cross-border enforcement. The latest Enhanced Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Consultation and Cooperation and the Exchange of Information (EMMoU) builds … Continue Reading

ASIC calls on retail OTC derivatives issuers to lift standards and address regulatory concerns

ASIC recently undertook a surveillance of the retail OTC derivatives sector, which has an estimated annual turnover of $11 trillion and over 450,000 investors in Australia. ASIC has released Report 579 here in which it identifies sector-wide issues with certain practices, including: misleading marketing materials unclear pricing methodologies, particularly around cryptocurrency CFDs inadequate risk management … Continue Reading
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