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The Australian Treasury has released and completed its consultation process on its Exposure Draft and accompanying Explanatory Material for the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (Size of an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution) Determination 2018. This draft legislative instrument defines what small, medium and large Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions (ADIs) under the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) are: a small ADI would have less than or equal to $10 billion on a three year average of total resident…
At Norton Rose Fulbright, we have commented on a number of occasions that we expect the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) to be extended beyond just authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) and so as to cover other areas of the financial services sector.  Such move, which we have previously informally nicknamed “FEAR” (Financial Executive Accountability Regime), may now happen sooner than we had originally expected. In response to revelations by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in…
As the financial sector waits for the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to fully awaken the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) through the provision of further guidelines, there is already a lot of chatter as to whether BEAR should be extended beyond its initial coverage of APRA-regulated Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs). The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (Joint Committee) has recently recommended that BEAR should also apply to life insurance and life…
After a much long and at times unbearable wait, Federal Parliament has yesterday passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (Banking Executive Accountability and Related Measures) Bill 2018 (BEAR Legislation). The BEAR Legislation amends the Banking Act 1959 to impose accountability, remuneration and notification obligations on authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) and those in directorship and senior management roles within ADIs. These reforms are known as the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR). The BEAR Legislation reflects earlier comments…
The Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, has given his Second Reading Speech in the Parliament with respect to the Treasury Laws Amendment (Banking Executive Accountability and Related Measures) Bill 2017 (BEAR Legislation) that introduces the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR). In his speech, the Treasurer made no surprises except that his Government still intends for BEAR to “commence on 1 July 2018, with transitional arrangements for certain elements of the regime. “ This is…
In light of today’s geo-political climate and public concerns over the threat of terrorist attacks, we see a trend of governments placing greater focus on countering the funding of terrorist groups. Indeed, the United Nation’s International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, which Australia has ratified, has been in force since 2002 to promote international cooperation to prevent, investigate and punish the financing of terrorist acts. Whilst governments have been taking proactive…
Ever since the infamous Silk Road website was investigated and shut down by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2013, and again in 2014, for facilitating the trafficking of illegal narcotics on the “darknet” using Bitcoin, the world of digital currencies has never been the same. Once upon a time Bitcoin was often used as an anonymous way to transfer large amounts of value across international borders – setting the perfect conditions for drug…
The much anticipated Royal Commission was no surprise to the Australian banking industry.  What was surprising was the extension of its terms of reference to local and foreign deposit-taking institutions, life and general insurers, superannuation funds, as well as asset managers, financial planning businesses and all other holders of Australian financial services licences.  Let there be no mistake – this is a Royal Commission into the Australian financial services industry. Focus on misconduct The thematic…
Recent instances of cyber-attacks targeting third party service providers of government agencies and private sector organisations have coincided with the latest release of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC)’s 2017 Threat Report. This report comes as a timely reminder of the ongoing digital threats to organisations, such as those in the financial services sector, especially with the rise of innovation and financial technologies (FinTech) in this market.  ACSC identified over 47,000 cyber incidents over the…
It is an exciting time for Australian equity market participants with a new crowd-sourced funding (CSF) regime due to commence on Friday 29 September 2017.  CSF, in essence, involves raising funds, usually through an online intermediary, from a large number of people who each make relatively small financial contributions. Australia’s new regime, introduced in Pt 6D.3A of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), provides a regulatory framework to enable CSF. Initially the CSF regime will only…