Unfair contract terms and the burden of knowledge…

On 28 May 2020, the first case on unfair contract terms for bank contracts was handed down by the Federal Court of Australia in Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited [2020] FCA 716 (ASIC v Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited). The court found certain clauses in the contract’s terms and […]

Readmore

COVID-19 | The Banking Code of Practice – COVID-19: Special Note

In these uncertain times, the financial services industry is experiencing unprecedented levels of customer queries and financial hardship requests. As a result of the high volume of customers in distressed circumstances, on 25 June 2020 ASIC approved temporary changes to the Banking Code of Practice (the Code) so that Banks can continue to provide suitable […]

Readmore

ASIC’s guidance to mortgage brokers on their ‘best interests’ duty – time to act!

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has just released RG 273, which sets out its view on how mortgage brokers may comply with their ‘best interests’ obligations which commence in January 2021. The guidance follows the passing, on 6 February 2020, of the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response – Protecting Customers (2019 […]

Readmore

The DIN is coming in! Australia’s introduction of a Director Identification Number (DIN) regime

Scrutiny of corporate governance and the role of directors is set to continue throughout 2020 and into 2021 as the aftermath of the Banking Royal Commission and economic impact of COVID-19 play out. Against that background, Australian directors and corporations now face a significant new administrative burden as the long-time-coming registry modernisation legislation passed without […]

Readmore

Litigation funders’ new regulatory requirements – practical Issues and the impact on class actions

Changing times The Federal Treasurer has announced that all litigation funders will soon be required to hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL), which will dramatically increase the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) regulatory oversight over those funders who do not already hold an AFSL. The announcement follows the Federal Attorney General’s referral to […]

Readmore

COVID-19 | Banking & Finance Update – Part 2

The COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Act 2020 (Vic) (COVID-19 Act), which commenced on 25 April 2020, has introduced temporary amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic) (RT Act). These amendments came into effect on 29 March 2020 and will continue 6 months after the commencement of the COVID-19 Act. Part of the amendments have […]

Readmore

COVID-19 | Electronic signing and virtual meetings: New temporary relief for companies a significant step on a longer journey

In a significant development for companies, the Treasurer has utilised his new power to modify the Corporations Act 2001, the Corporations Regulations 2001, the Insolvency Practice rules, and the Passport Rules so that, for a period of six months effective from 6 May 2020: entities can hold virtual meetings without the need for a physical location; […]

Readmore

COVID-19 | Banking & Finance Update – Part 1

In these unprecedented times of COVID-19 the financial services industry is undergoing a number of legal changes. These changes aim to provide greater protection for consumers and implement new processes and procedures in light of the social distancing rules. Part 1 of this legal update looks at the introduction of electronic signatures on affidavits and […]

Readmore

The Impending General Prohibition of Hawking Financial Products and what this will mean for Financial Service Providers

The Federal Government is preparing to introduce the ‘Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response—Protecting Consumers (2020 Measures)) Bill 2020: Hawking of financial products‘ (the Bill) in response to the recommendations of the Hayne Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry that all hawking of insurance and superannuation products should […]

Readmore

COVID-19 | Regulatory wave needs to crash against COVID-19 wall

With the recent coronavirus pandemic, the current regulatory wave may see unique changes, with lawyers and GCs needing to prepare as uncertainty sweeps through businesses. It is no secret that the financial services industry entered this year riding a regulatory wave in the wake of the Hayne royal commission’s findings of widespread misconduct. There has […]

Readmore

What is good for the goose…climate change disclosure and the public sector

Introduction Australia’s peak regulators, including the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), the Accounting Standards Review Board and the Reserve Bank of Australia, are exerting increasing pressure on private companies to report on climate change risk in accordance with guidelines issued by the Financial […]

Readmore

Doing Business in Australia

The Australian Government welcomes foreign investment. With well-developed infrastructure, a stable political environment, robust economy and easy access to Asia Pacific, Australia is an ideal investment location for foreign companies looking to grow internationally. There are important considerations for foreign investors to make when deciding on how to enter the Australian market. Whether it’s the […]

Readmore