FSR OUTLOOK 2023: BRAVING THE MAELSTROM

Our Financial Services Regulatory (FSR) team surveys the regulatory landscape for 2023 and considers the challenges confronting firms and regulators. Firms now face a maelstrom of risks as 2023 comes into view. Economic and geopolitical uncertainty has aggravated already rising interest rates and inflation, causing supply chain issues and increased volatility in the commodities and … Read more

Efficiently, Honestly and (still) Fairly Uncertain – The Quest for Certainty

The continuing uncertainty around the provision requiring licensees to provide financial services ‘efficiently, honestly and fairly’ under section 912A(1)(a) of the Corporations Act (EHF provision) comes into sharpest focus against the backdrop of the new breach reporting regime. In this article, we examine some common questions and challenges we are seeing emerge in relation to … Read more

THE BREACH REPORTING CHASM

On 27 October 2022, ASIC released its first publication of information lodged under the new breach reporting regime, Report 740 Insights from the reportable situations regime: October 2021 to June 2022 (Report 740). As readers will be aware, the new breach reporting regime for financial services came into effect on 1 October 2021, seeking to … Read more

Keeping up with the finfluencers: Why it’s not what you say but who you are

The recent charges imposed on a (very) famous influencer in the US by the US Securities and Exchange Commission is informative to the current discussion and debate in Australia regarding the Quality of Advice Review. The charges (which were ultimately settled for a sum of $1.26 million and a 3-year embargo on promoting crypto asset … Read more

12 MONTHS REPRIEVE FOR FOREIGN FINANCIAL SERVICES PROVIDERS USING AFSL EXEMPTIONS

Today the Australian corporate regulator, ASIC, announced an extension of 12 months for the transitional arrangements for the passporting exemptions and limited connection exemption, which will now expire on 31 March 2024. BACKGROUND The passporting exemptions and limited connection exemption from the need to hold an Australian financial services licence (AFSL) that have been used … Read more

Anti-hawking in financial services: Some observations on multi-product discounts

For some time now, the issue of whether a sales representative can cross-position different insurance policies or financial products through the mechanism of a multi-policy or multi-product discount has been somewhat of a vexed issue – to say the least. In this context, we are referring to a scenario where a client makes an enquiry … Read more

FFSP AFSL exemption uncertainty continues

The Australian federal election was held on 21 May 2022 and has resulted in a change of government. The previous government had introduced a bill into Parliament to implement the foreign financial service provider (FFSP) exemptions to the requirement to hold an Australian financial services licence (AFSL) and that bill had lapsed on the dissolution … Read more

Financial services in the social media age: The rise and risks of ‘finfluencers’

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a record number of first-time traders flocked to the market, which propelled financial influencers (‘finfluencers’) into ASIC’s spotlight and squarely placed them within ASIC’s enforcement remit. The rise of finfluencers is unsurprising in the social media and digital age. As financial services and financial product distribution become more challenging and complex … Read more

Legislation introduced for FFSP AFSL exemptions

On 17 February 2022, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Streamlining and Improving Economic Outcomes for Australians) Bill 2022 (Bill) was introduced into Parliament with a first reading in the House of Representatives. Schedule 1 to this Bill gives effect to legislative reforms to the exemptions for foreign financial service providers (FFSPs) from the need to hold an … Read more