Today, ASIC published its Interim Corporate Plan for the 2020–2021 financial year and an updated timetable of its ongoing work up to the second quarter of 2021.

Key dates with respect to legal and regulatory reform in the financial and credit services industries are set out in the table below:

Project Indicative timing
Product intervention power – regulatory guidance

ASIC will publish a regulatory guide in June 2020 on how it will use the product intervention power.

June 2020
Mortgage brokers best interest duty – regulatory guidance

ASIC will publish a new regulatory guide on how ASIC will assess compliance with the best interest obligations in National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) Part 3-5A.

June/July 2020
Internal dispute resolution (IDR) – updated requirements

ASIC will publish an update to Regulatory Guide 271 Internal dispute resolution, outlining revised updated IDR standards and requirements for financial services and credit licensees.

RG to be published July 2020

New requirements to commence from 5 October 2021

Design and distribution obligations (DDO) – regulatory guidance

ASIC will publish its regulatory guide on DDO, following consultation on its draft regulatory guide that was released in December 2019.

RG to be published in Q3 2020

ASIC plans to respond to industry requests for guidance ‘as soon as possible’

Regulatory guidance on client review and remediation – consultation

ASIC will consult on extending Regulatory Guide 256 Client review and remediation conducted by advice licensees (RG 256) beyond financial advice.

ASIC’s timetable also states that it started an internal review of RG 256 in 2019, with a focus on ‘extending the application of the policy, including greater transparency on the progress and outcomes of remediation, and providing best practice guidance for designing and conducting consumer-centred remediation’.

Q3 2020
PDS disclosure requirements for managed funds and superannuation – commencement

As we mentioned in an earlier update, ASIC will amend the transitional arrangements PDSs to ‘allow entities to come into the new disclosure regime from 30 September 2020 and require any PDS given on or after 30 September 2022 to comply with the new disclosure regime’.

No changes have been announced to commencement of the new regime for periodic statements.

Opt-in from 30 September 2020

Required for PDSs given on or after 30 September 2022

Removal of claims handling exemption – consultation

ASIC may engage in targeted consultation on a new information sheet for entities involved in claims handling, on ‘how to apply for an Australian financial services licence and comply with licence obligations’.

September 2020 or upon the introduction of legislation into Parliament (whichever is later)
Review of the ePayments Code – consultation

ASIC will consult on the ePayments Code as part of its review to assess its ‘its fitness for purpose, noting significant developments in financial technological innovation and the need to ensure the Code is simple to apply and easy to understand’.

Q4 2020
Royal Commission law reform for mortgage brokers – consultation

ASIC intends to consult on:

  • a draft legislative instrument and information sheet on a reference checking protocol for mortgage brokers and financial advisers;
  • updates to Regulatory Guide 104 Licensing: Meeting the general obligations; and
  • updates to Regulatory Guide 205 Applying for and varying a credit licence.
October 2020 or upon the introduction of legislation into Parliament (whichever is later)
Insurance in superannuation report – publication

ASIC states that its review is focused on ‘industry’s progress on improving insurance outcomes for consumers’.

December 2020
Royal Commission law reform on hawking – consultation

ASIC intends to consult in late 2020 on changes to Regulatory Guide 38 The hawking prohibitions (RG 38) to account for the legislative amendments recommended by the Royal Commission.

December 2020
Royal Commission law reform on a deferred sales model for add-on insurance – consultation

ASIC intends to consult on an information sheet about the deferred sales model for add-on insurance.

December 2020
Royal Commission law reform relating to financial advice – regulatory guidance and legislative instruments

ASIC will release an update to Regulatory Guide 245 Fee disclosure statements (RG 245) and make the relevant legislative instruments in December 2020, subject to the passage of legislation, in relation to the following Royal Commission recommendations:

  • Recommendation 2.1: Annual renewal and payment
  • Recommendation 2.2: Disclosure of lack of independence
  • Recommendation 3.2: No deducting of advice fees from MySuper accounts
  • Recommendation 3.3: Limitations on deducting advice fees from choice accounts
December 2020
Royal Commission law reform for breach reporting – regulatory guidance

ASIC intends to consult on:

  • an update to Regulatory Guide 78 Breach reporting by AFS licensees (RG 79) on the proposed breach reporting requirements; and
  • a new information sheet about new requirements for financial advisers and mortgage brokers to investigate misconduct and notify and remediate affected clients.
February 2021
Royal Commission law reform for enforceable code provisions – regulatory guidance

ASIC intends to consult on a draft update to Regulatory Guide 183 Approval of financial services sector codes of conduct (RG 183), in the context of the proposed law reform to facilitate enforceable code provisions.

Q2 2021, with an intention to commence targeted consultation at an earlier stage

 

Michael Vrisakis

Michael Vrisakis
Partner
+61 2 9322 4411

Fiona Smedley

Fiona Smedley
Partner
+61 2 9225 5828

Charlotte Henry

Charlotte Henry
Partner
+61 2 9322 4444