Australia

Topic: Regulators

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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

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

What Australian financial institutions need to know about cybersecurity and responding to cyber-attacks

It has been 3 months since Australia’s Notifiable Data Breach Scheme (NDB Scheme)[1] came into force and, already, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is receiving many notifications of cyber-attacks and other data breaches – both voluntarily and under the NDB Scheme. We will see even greater awareness of cybersecurity and data protection … Continue Reading

Sizing up the 3 BEARs

The Australian Treasury has released and completed its consultation process on its Exposure Draft and accompanying Explanatory Material for the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (Size of an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution) Determination 2018. This draft legislative instrument defines what small, medium and large Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions (ADIs) under the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) are: a … Continue Reading

ASIC updates INFO 225: Corporate regulator bytes back at misleading and deceptive ICOs

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released its updated guidance with respect to the treatment of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies. In its updated Information Sheet (INFO 225), the corporate regulator has clearly outlined its intent to crack down on any misleading or deceptive conduct by ICO issuers and cryptocurrency traders. Misleading … Continue Reading

Royal Commission is making the BEAR growl louder – striking FEAR into financial institutions

At Norton Rose Fulbright, we have commented on a number of occasions that we expect the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) to be extended beyond just authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) and so as to cover other areas of the financial services sector.  Such move, which we have previously informally nicknamed “FEAR” (Financial Executive Accountability Regime), … Continue Reading

Taking a byte at financial crime: New AML/CTF guidance and timelines for digital currency exchanges

Australia’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) regulator, AUSTRAC, has released its guidance with respect to new laws that require digital currency exchange (DCE) providers to register and comply with AML/CTF obligations. AUSTRAC takes a broad approach in interpreting what is covered within the legal definition of a DCE. Essentially, any operation that converts fiat … Continue Reading

Possibility of extending the claws of BEAR

As the financial sector waits for the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to fully awaken the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) through the provision of further guidelines, there is already a lot of chatter as to whether BEAR should be extended beyond its initial coverage of APRA-regulated Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs). The Parliamentary Joint Committee … 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

The BEAR Awakens!

After a much long and at times unbearable wait, Federal Parliament has yesterday passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (Banking Executive Accountability and Related Measures) Bill 2018 (BEAR Legislation). The BEAR Legislation amends the Banking Act 1959 to impose accountability, remuneration and notification obligations on authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) and those in directorship and senior management … Continue Reading
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