ASIC ‘lifts its game’ on DDO

    The Design and Distribution Obligations (DDO) regime is increasingly becoming a cornerstone in ASIC’s supervision and enforcement arsenal. In the latest, on 18 May 2023, ASIC announced that it had made 8 new interim stop orders preventing the issue of derivatives including contracts for difference (CFDs) to retail clients because of deficiencies in their target … Read more

    ASIC commences first court action on unfair contracts terms in insurance

    Last week, ASIC commenced the first court proceedings alleging unfair contract terms in an insurance contract. The case involves standard form underwritten home and contents insurance contracts issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Limited (Auto & General). On 5 April 2021, the unfair contract term protections in Subdivision BA of the ASIC Act were … Read more

    HSF FSR Practice launches a Breach Reporting Hotline

    It’s time! We are excited to launch our brand new (and what we think is Australia’s first) ‘Breach Reporting Hotline’ service, which enables you to ‘bounce’ discrete queries off our team of experts as a way of cutting through some of the complexity that is intrinsic to this new regime. For more information, please see … 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

    FSR GPS: 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