ASIC doubles down – DDO pressure points

Following months of heightened scrutiny on target market determinations (TMDs) across the financial services sector, we are seeing signs that ASIC has shifted its focus on broader product and distribution governance under the DDO regime. In particular, ASIC has started issuing statutory notices and asking questions as part of a thematic review into how issuers and distributors are complying with their reasonable steps obligations. In this article, we focus on some of the key pressure points in DDO compliance as ASIC shifts its focus. Read more

FSR GPS Podcast Series – EP4: Spotlight on greenwashing

EP 4: Spotlight on greenwashing Partners Luke Hastings and Mark Smyth, together with Senior Associate Sarah Webster, cast a spotlight on greenwashing and explore how this topical issue is affecting the financial services sector. Soundcloud | Spotify | Apple      About the FSR GPS Podcast Series Our “FSR GPS” podcast series explores topical and emerging issues in financial … Read more

Financial Accountability Regime: HSF makes submission on Regulator Rules

In July 2023, ASIC and APRA released key materials for consultation, to support the implementation of the Financial Accountability Regime (FAR) by the financial services industry. This included the proposed Regulator Rules and the ‘Key Functions’ descriptions for ADIs (Consultation Documents). Our team has made a formal submission on this consultation. While we welcome the … Read more


The breach reporting regime continues to give rise to ambiguity for licensees. As we have commented previously, there continues to be a mismatch in breach reporting practices across the industry and ASIC expectations, as well as a divergence of breach reporting practices between licensees. A common area of over-reporting is in the context of reporting … Read more

Fair game: Unfair contract terms in superannuation?

Sections 12BF-12BM of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) (ASIC Act) contain provisions designed to protect consumers and certain small business in respect of unfair contract terms in relation to their application to financial services (UCT Regime). The introduction of civil penalties in the UCT Regime in late 2022 and the flow-on … Read more

The substratum rule in superannuation

It is common for superannuation trustees to seek to amend the governing rules of a superannuation fund. This regularly occurs during fund and product rationalisation activity, successor fund transfers, and new product launches. The typical formula for assessing whether a trust deed amendment can be made by the trustee will involve: examining the amendment power … Read more


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