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

Exposure draft legislation released for new FFSP AFSL exemptions

The eagerly awaited detail of the proposed new foreign financial service provider (FFSP) exemptions from the need to hold an Australian financial services licence (AFSL) was released on 20 December 2021. Earlier in 2021, Treasury consulted on restoring the ‘previously well-established regulatory exemptions’, and to create a fast-track licensing process for FFSPs wishing to establish … Read more

FSR Outlook 2022: Anticipating Change, Being Prepared

Our Financial Services Regulatory team surveys the regulatory landscape for 2022 and identifies themes that we expect to be at the core of regulatory priorities globally over the next 12 months.  On 7 December 2021, HSF published its annual Financial Services Regulatory Outlook report surveying the global regulatory landscape for 2022 which addressed the following … Read more

Some regulatory roadblocks for new Retirement Income Covenant

Alert to all industry and retail superannuation funds – compliance with the proposed retirement income covenant (RIC) faces two major regulatory roadblocks: personal advice and anti-hawking. There is an urgent need for regulatory relief or reform in relation to this. There are two major regulatory problems that are thrown up by the recently proposed RIC, to … Read more

State of play: ASIC releases draft updated remediation guidance

On 17 November 2021, ASIC released draft updated guidance on consumer remediation for all AFS licensees, Australian credit licensees and retirement savings account providers. The draft guidance is attached to Consultation Paper 350 Consumer remediation: Further consultation (CP 350). This article considers the key features of the draft guidance with a particular focus on significant … Read more

An old friend or foe? ASIC updates court enforceable undertaking guidance

In this article, we look at how ASIC is reacquainting itself with one of the oldest tools in its enforcement toolkit: the court enforceable undertaking (CEU). ASIC’s new Chair Joe Longo has long signalled since commencing with the regulator in June that the “why not litigate?” enforcement mantra of predecessor James Shipton is a thing … Read more