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Following a request from the ACCC, confirmed by the ACCC Chair at a recent House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics hearing, the Treasurer is reportedly expected to direct the ACCC to conduct an inquiry into bank residential mortgage price competition including the role of small banks in competition. The inquiry will be specifically requested to report on 3 issues: how banks make pricing decisions for their residential mortgages, including their response to official movements…
The Competition and Consumer (External Dispute Resolution Scheme–Banking Sector) Instrument 2019 has been registered. This instrument recognises the Australian Financial Complaints Authority as the external dispute resolution scheme for the consumer data right in the banking sector. The ACCC has announced the participants in the testing of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) ecosystem in the run-up to launch in February 2020 The ACCC’s intention is that participants in testing will be ready to participate in…
Lenders are aware of the prohibition in section 260A of the Corporations Act 2001 against a company financially assisting a person (whether by borrowing or giving security) to acquire shares in the company. The High Court has now explained the full scope of that prohibition. In Connective Services Pty Ltd v Slea Pty Ltd [2019] HCA 33 the High Court of Australia (in a unanimous judgment of the five judges) prohibited Connective, at the expense…
The Treasurer has announced that the Government is working towards the establishment of a new disciplinary system and single disciplinary body for financial advisers as recommended by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. The Government plans to establish the new body in early 2021, subject to the passage of legislation which will be introduced into the Parliament in 2020. The single disciplinary body will replace the role of…
Both APRA and ASIC have confirmed the importance of compliance with reporting dates but APRA has extended the reporting date for registered financial corporations.  After APRA recently fined Westpac and two subsidiaries for failing to meet their legal obligations to report data to APRA on time (see here), APRA has extended the annual data collection reporting periods for registered financial corporations (RFCs). RFCs that are currently required to report annual data as at 31 December…
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has announced an inquiry into the insolvency system to establish if it encourages practitioners, in the first instance, to restructure the small or family business to turn it around when facing financial difficulties. When a restructure is not possible, the Inquiry will investigate if current insolvency practices achieve the best outcome for all parties. The Insolvency Practices Inquiry will examine: the legislation, compliance and industry standards that…
ASIC’s Corporate Governance Taskforce has published its report on Director and officer oversight of non‑financial risk following its review of 7 large listed financial services companies: the 4 major banks together with AMP, IOOF and IAG. ASIC conducted 60 interviews with executives and directors of the seven companies and received more than 29,000 documents. Consistent with the findings of the Financial Services Royal Commission and APRA’s review of CBA, ASIC’s report concludes that many directors identified…
The ATO has published the Superannuation Changes Industry Roadmap which details the changes affecting the super industry up until the end of December 2020. The changes include those resulting from the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Superannuation Measures No. 1) Act 2019 and the Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Members’ Interests First) Act 2019 which have both been passed and given royal assent. The Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Superannuation Measures No. 1) Act 2019 allows individuals to…
ASIC has announced that The Colonial Mutual Life Insurance Society Ltd, trading as CommInsure, has been charged with 87 counts of offering to sell insurance products in the course of non-compliant unsolicited telephone calls. ASIC alleges that the calls to CBA customers were unsolicited and that CommInsure did not comply with all of the hawking exceptions in section 992A(3) of the Corporations Act. ASIC’s Consultation Paper 317 details ASIC’s proposal to ban unsolicited telephone…
The Department of Home Affairs has published Guidance for Reporting Entities on the Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act 2018. Background. The guidance sets out: how to work out if your entity is required to comply with the reporting requirement; how to voluntarily comply with the reporting requirement and whether your entity is eligible to do so; how to determine when you will need to report; how to draft your statement, including how to respond to…