Welcome to the Herbert Smith Freehills FSR Update series, covering Australian regulatory developments in financial advice, insurance and superannuation.

 

FSR Update – 23 December 2020

In this update:

  • Hayne Royal Commission Response Legislation
  • ASIC releases technical updates to RG 246
  • ASIC releases regulatory guide on product design and distribution obligations
  • ASIC consults on consumer remediation guidance
  • Trustees to improve occupational classification practices in insurance in superannuation
  • ASIC report explores how to measure ‘value for money’ in default insurance in superannuation
  • APRA releases Information Paper on BEAR’s implementation by ADIs
  • APRA issues letter to RSEs regarding member outcome obligations and DDO

 

FSR Update – 1 December 2020

In this update:

  • Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response Bill) 2020 tabled in Parliament
  • Government releases Retirement Income Review
  • Treasury releases RIS on changes to UCT laws in the ACL
  • ASIC releases consumer research on insurance in super
  • ASIC consults on reference checking and information sharing protocol
  • ASIC consults on promoting access to affordable advice for consumers
  • APRA releases response to consultation and updated draft CPS 511
  • Issues paper released for Privacy Act review
  • Licensing and professional registration activities: 2020 update
  • Superannuation sector scrutiny continues

 

FSR Update – 4 November 2020

In this update:

  • Proposed amendments to Corporations Act to allow electronic meetings and execution of documents
  • ASIC updates information sheets on new protections under the unfair contract terms laws
  • ASIC Annual Report 2019-20
  • FSC launches report proposing new model for financial advice
  • APRA examining trustee expenditure on advertising
  • APRA publishes new frequently asked questions on the Superannuation Data Transformation Project

 

FSR Update – 20 October 2020

In this update:

  • Superannuation reforms announced as part of the 2020 Federal Budget
  • Exemption from responsible lending obligations extended for another 6 months
  • APRA begins roll-out of new Supervision Risk and Intensity Model
  • APRA issues letter to RSE licensees on controlling stake obligations and updated application kit
  • G v G (No. 2) [2020] NSWSC 818

 

FSR Update – 21 September 2020

In this update:

  • APRA and ACCC sign updated Memorandum of Understanding
  • ASIC obtains order to compel Maxi EFX to produce documents
  • ASIC successfully challenges RI Advice’s claim for privilege
  • we publish an article titled Special Disadvantage and Unconscionability: What Financial Service Providers Need to Know
  • we publish an article titled FSR GPS: The efficiency limb of the EHF obligation

 

FSR Update – 7 September 2020

In this update:

  • Choice of superannuation fund legislation passes through Parliament
  • Bill introduced to increase maximum membership of small APRA funds and SMSFs to six
  • ASIC issues guidance for Government’s enhanced regulatory sandbox
  • ASIC’s Corporate Plan 2020-24
  • APRA’s Corporate Plan 2020-24

 

FSR Update – 24 August 2020

In this update:

  • APRA to resume public consultations and issuing new licenses
  • APRA publishes new MySuper Product Heatmap FAQs
  • we publish an article titled Fair Game: A Sectorial Focus on Unfair Terms in Financial Services
  • we publish an article titled FSR GPS: Efficiently, honestly and fairly in practice
  • we publish an article titled State of Play: Unconscionable conduct in financial services

 

FSR Update – 10 August 2020

In this update:

  • Government defers the commencement of the Retirement Income Covenant to 1 July 2022
  • ASIC releases final updated guidance on complaints handling
  • ASIC consults on proposed product intervention order for the sale of add-on motor vehicle financial risk products
  • ASIC updates RG 97 Disclosing Fees and Costs in PDSs and Periodic Statements;
  • ASIC updates RG 97 finalising deferral of PDS fee disclosure regime
  • Regulations requiring litigation funders to hold financial services licences commence
  • APRA updates guidance on capital management for banks and insurers
  • ASIC publishes statement on its role in ensuring confidence in the financial system during COVID-19

 

FSR Update – 27 July 2020

In this update:

  • ASIC says it will not appeal the Westpac responsible lending decision;
  • ASIC commences against Forex CT for unconscionable conduct and conflicted remuneration;
  • APRA publishes FAQs on Pandemic Data Collection;
  • ASIC updates RG 97 Disclosing Fees and Costs in PDSs and Periodic Statements;
  • we publish an article titled Regulatory “Rinkles” – Spotlight on retail treatment of superannuation cash under APS 210; and
  • we publish an article titled The Landscape on General and Personal Advice.

 

FSR Update – 13 July 2020

In this update:

  • ASIC releases CP 330 on second proposed use of PIP;
  • APRA publishes updated MySuper Heatmap;
  • FSC: Accelerating Australia’s Economic Recovery; and
  • we publish an article titled Regulatory “Rinkles” – Spotlight on Transitional Issues for Grandfathered Conflicted Remuneration.

 

FSR Update – 29 June 2020

In this update:

  • Parliament passes a wide-ranging Bill;
  • ASIC reminds funds that they must ensure their advertising provides clear, balanced and accurate information;
  • ASIC finalises its regulatory guide on the product intervention power;
  • ASIC amends financial advice and capital raisings COVID 19 instruments;
  • ASIC releases information sheet on board oversight and discretion in executive variable pay schemes (INFO 245); and
  • APRA publishes a letter to superannuation trustees on COVID-19 data collection.

 

FSR Update – 15 June 2020

In this update:

  • the Treasurer announces significant reforms to Australia’s foreign investment review framework;
  • ASIC releases its 2020/21 timetable;
  • we publish an article on with a particular focus on how institutions can overcome or mitigate the additional burdens caused by COVID-19;
  • the Financial Services Council (FSC) releases a report, titled Accelerating Australia’s Economic Recovery; and
  • the Government introduces regulations to clarify that certain payments relating to the JobKeeper scheme will not count as ‘salary or wages’ for the purposes of the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 (Cth).

 

FSR Update – 1 June 2020

In this update:

  • the Government announces removal of the exemption for litigation funds from the Australian financial services licensing and managed investment scheme regimes;
  • the Government provides temporary relief from continuous disclosure obligations;
  • the Financial Services Council announces new Covid Total and Permanent Disability Claims Initiative; and
  • APRA publishes article encouraging super consolidation during COVID-19.

 

FSR Update – 18 May 2020

In this update:

  • the Royal Commission reforms and the Design and Distribution obligations (DDO) are delayed by six months;
  • ASIC announces an upcoming review of Regulatory Guide 256 Client review and remediation conducted by advice licensees;
  • we provide an overview of new articles on financial product disclosure in the age of COVID-19, and on executing documents electronically;
  • APRA publishes data on the superannuation early release scheme; and
  • we provide an overview of new Bills that are introduced to the House of Representatives.