FSR GPS: Misleading or deceptive conduct – A disclaimer antidote?

In this edition of the FSR GPS, we explore key principles for financial services businesses to consider when considering the use of a disclaimer to mitigate false, misleading or deceptive conduct. As noted in our previous article about where an unintentional error may not constitute misleading or deceptive conduct, the key test for misleading or … Read more


It has been 5 years since Commissioner Hayne, in February 2019, released the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (FSRC). It was a watershed moment for the financial services sector, with the rippling effects still being felt 5 years on. It is safe to say … Read more

HSF FSR Australia Notes – 2023 Wrapped

Welcome to HSF FSR Australia Notes – 2023 Wrapped! It has been another big year of regulatory change and enforcement action in the Australian financial services market, with DDO, unfair contract terms and breach reporting attracting a lot of attention and discussion among industry and the regulators. In our 2023 Wrapped, we take a look … Read more

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