COVID-19 | ‘Business days’ when business has changed

The ‘business day’ in a new light As at 29 March 2020, the Morrison Government had announced sweeping shutdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Pubs and gyms are among those deemed ‘non-essential’ businesses and required to shut down.  Businesses which do not fall under this qualification, including banks, remain open.  Australians are being advised […]

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COVID-19 | Verification of identity – the need to go digital

All of the states (but not the territories) require mortgagees to undertake reasonable steps to verify the identities of mortgagors, commonly through a framework called the “Verification of Identity Standard” (VOI Standard) undertaken by specialised “Identity Agents” e.g. lawyers or other agents with professional indemnity insurance. Where they do not, and the mortgage instrument is […]

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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 […]

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Responsible lending – updated guidance and practical considerations

Lenders’ responsible lending obligations have been a fluid topic in the wake of the Hayne Royal Commission’s final report in February 2019. In that report, Commissioner Hayne said that he was ultimately not persuaded that the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) (NCCP) needed to change in that aspect. His view was that the […]

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Mortgagees and verifying mortgagors’ identities – a time of change

On 18 December 2019, the Australian Registrars National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) released a consultation draft of version 6 of its Model Participation Rules. It pertains to Mortgagees’ “Verification of Identity” (VOI Draft) requirements when registering mortgage securities, which are separate to AML / CTF KYC requirements. The VOI Draft – which contains one very […]

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Mortgage Brokers – You could be up for $1.05M in fines from 1 July 2020

On 6 February 2020, the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response – Protecting Consumers (2019 Measures) Bill 2019 (Bill) passed in Parliament. The Bill gives effect to recommendations 4.7 and 4.2 of the Hayne Royal Commission by amending the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) (NCCP) and the National Consumer Credit Protection (Transitional […]

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BEAR (now FAR) – the extension of the Banking Executive Accountability Regime

On 4 February 2019, the Morrison Government announced it would implement recommendations 3.9, 4.12, 6.6, 6.7 and 6.8 of the Financial Services Royal Commission to extend the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) to all APRA-regulated entities e.g. banks, insurance and superannuation firms and provide joint administration to ASIC as the conduct regulator. On 22 January […]

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Hunting together – time to refresh memorandums of understanding?

For many years, both State and Federal agencies have formally co-operated under MOUs as an important means of performing their regulatory mandates. In the post-Hayne environment, agencies should consider refreshing their existing MOUs or establishing new arrangements for information sharing and co-ordination with other regulators. Agencies can take guidance from Commissioner Hayne’s comments and the […]

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Culture-related Regulatory Enforcement: Where might the Australian ‘BEAR’ go hunting?

This two-part briefing has been prepared for in-house legal, risk and compliance professionals in financial services firms, including insurance and superannuation entities. Part one of this briefing covers the following matters: Introduction to the “Banking Executive Accountability Regime” (BEAR) What is required under the regime and penalties for individuals and companies BEAR’s imminent expansion to […]

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