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

First judicial challenge to ASIC’s use of its new product intervention power fails

By Fiona Smedley, Graeme Johnson, Ewan MacDonald, Julian Vertoudakis and Soraya Pradhan   On 15 April 2020 the Federal Court confirmed[1] that a judicial review application lodged in September 2019 to challenge ASIC’s exercise of its new product intervention power (PIP) had failed. The judicial review challenge related to a class wide intervention in relation to … Read more

The fairness doctrine: a return to the status quo?

By Michael Vrisakis, Tamanna Islam and Shan-Verne Liew In October 2019, the Full Federal Court decision in ASIC v Westpac Securities Administration Limited [2019] FCAFC 187 (ASIC v Westpac) raised questions about the scope of the obligation on AFS licensees to act efficiently, honestly and fairly. Less than 6 months later, the Federal Court’s decision in ASIC v … Read more

Federal court provides helpful guidance on a range of AFSL concepts

By Fiona Smedley and Steven Rice   On 5 February 2020, the Federal Court of Australia handed down its decision in Australian Securities and Investments Commission v One Tech Media Ltd [2020] FCA 46 (One Tech Media). The Court found that One Tech Media Limited (One Tech), Allianz Metro Pty Ltd (Allianz Australia) and others … Read more