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

Insurance in superannuation: AFCA complaints directly against life insurers – A thing of the past?

The Decision Yesterday’s decision of the Full Federal Court in MetLife Insurance Limited v Australian Financial Complaints Authority Limited [2022] FCAFC 173 upheld MetLife’s contention that AFCA does not have jurisdiction to hear complaints made directly against life companies relating to life insurance in superannuation. The issue arose due to a specific complaint which was … Read more

Section 52(12) – The Forgotten Covenant

By Scott Donald PhD CFA (External Consultant and Associate Professor – UNSW) Rob Kardashian, Emilio Estevez, Luke Hemsworth, Dannii Minogue, Trevor Chappell.  Sometimes it is hard to avoid being overshadowed by more famous, more glamorous siblings. The covenant in section 52(12) of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth) (SIS Act) must be feeling that … Read more

State of Play: The unconscionable conduct yo-yo goes back to the High Court

We have previously written about the doctrine of unconscionable conduct, where we follow the developing law of both statutory and equitable unconscionable conduct. The yo-yo starts its first play with the 2019 High Court decision in ASIC v Kobelt, which created significant uncertainty in the doctrine of unconscionable conduct (see our article here).[1] Five separate … 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

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

State of Play: Superannuation Guarantee FAQs

In this edition of HSF FSR Australia Notes, we cover some live issues facing employers with respect to their superannuation guarantee (SG) obligations. 1. What is the SG amnesty and how can you take advantage? Employers are generally required to make quarterly SG contributions in respect of their employees under the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act … 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