Evolving patterns of ESG disclosure by super fund trustees

Public attention on the ways Australian superannuation funds are engaging with the challenges of climate change has never been greater. Media reporting of Australia’s position at COP26, together with concerted advertising by some funds of their sustainability credentials, means that members are more interested than ever about how their monies are being deployed. This interest … 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

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

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