Proposed simplification of financial services law

On 11 September 2020, Attorney-General Christian Porter MP announced that a review of the legislative framework for corporations and financial services regulation had been referred to the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC). This review follows recommendations of the Banking Royal Commission, which noted that the complexity of the current regulatory regime is preventing the intent … Read more

Lenders potentially face a tsunami of complaints

Background of the loan repayment deferrals On 20 March 2020, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) announced that banks were allowing the deferral of repayments for small business loans and mortgages for up to six months in order to assist Australians who were suffering financial hardship due to the effects of COVID-19.[1] APRA reported that, as … Read more

Fair game: A sectoral focus on unfair terms in financial services

The unfair terms regime – a recap In Australia, the unfair terms regime has existed in various forms since the 1970s. In the present day, it exists in multiple federal legislative regimes, such as the Australian Consumer Law, the ASIC Act and the Corporations Act. These regimes are designed to ensure the protection of small … Read more

FSR GPS: Efficiently, honestly and fairly in practice

Our “FSR GPS” (Guidelines, Principles and Strategies) series is designed to assist financial institutions navigate often complex, and sometimes opaque or ambiguous, legal provisions, with a view to assisting institutions formulate practical and strategic legal and business solutions. This edition aims to provide practical guidance to in-house lawyers and businesses on how to navigate the … Read more

State of Play: Unconscionable conduct in financial services

The doctrine of unconscionable conduct has experienced a resurgence in financial services regulation, with ASIC increasingly bringing enforcement action on the basis of this doctrine. On 17 July 2020, ASIC commenced civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Forex Capital Trading Pty Ltd and its sole director, alleging numerous acts of unconscionable conduct. … Read more

Remediation Round-Up – Who is the proper payee?

Background This edition of HSF FSR Australia Notes is the first in our series dealing with legal remediation issues arising from exercises undertaken post Royal Commission. In this edition, as the title indicates, we examine the topical issue of where compensation payments should be made in a situation where multiple parties have been involved in … Read more

“In relation to” a financial service: Federal Court reaffirms wide angle lens

The Federal Court has recently reaffirmed that the phrase “in relation to” a financial service is necessarily of wide import. In this context, it is timely to reiterate the practical consequences of this broad interpretation in the context of financial services. “in relation to” In Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Hutchison [2020] FCA 978, … Read more