ASIC’s responsible lending appeal dismissed by the Full Federal Court

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On 10 September 2019, ASIC filed an appeal with the Federal Court of Australia against the decision of the Honourable Justice Perram regarding ASIC’s allegations against Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) for contraventions of responsible lending provisions of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) (Credit Act). The matter was heard in February 2020 and yesterday

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ASIC approves temporary COVID-19 changes to the Banking Code

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ASIC has approved a variation of the Banking Code of Practice (Code). The variation, as proposed by the Australian Banking Association (ABA), involves the insertion of a ‘Special Note’ into the Code to allow for special application of specified Code provisions until 1 March 2021. The ABA has proposed the variation due to the extraordinary

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ASIC publishes new regulatory guidance for mortgage brokers

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ASIC has published regulatory guidance to assist in the application of the new best interests duty for mortgage brokers, which comes into effect in 2021. The new obligations were legislated by the Parliament in response to Recommendation 1.2 of the Financial Services Royal Commission. From 1 January 2021, mortgage brokers will be required to act in

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Investment funds told to correct advertising and disclosure

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ASIC has put responsible entities (REs) of all managed investment schemes (MISs) ‘on notice’ that they must ensure their investment fund advertising provides clear, balanced and accurate information. This follows ASIC’s risk based surveillance  of advertising material, website disclosure and product disclosure statements from managed funds during the COVID-19 pandemic.  ASIC was concerned to find

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ASIC amends financial advice and capital raisings COVID 19 instruments

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ASIC has registered an amending instrument to specify an end date for three COVID-19 related instruments. The ASIC Corporations (Amendment) Instrument 2020/565 makes the following amendments: The earlier amendment to the ASIC Corporations (Share and Interest Purchase Plans) Instrument 2019/547 will be repealed on 2 October 2020 (six months after the amendment commenced). The ASIC Corporations (Trading Suspensions Relief) Instrument

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ASIC’s Interim Corporate Plan for 2020-21

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ASIC has published its Interim Corporate Plan, which sets out five priorities to tackle the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic: protecting consumers from harm at a time of heightened vulnerability maintaining financial system resilience and stability supporting Australian businesses to respond to the effects of COVID-19 continuing to identify, disrupt and take enforcement action

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ASIC sets expectations for maintaining equity market resilience

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ASIC has outlined its expectations for all market participants to act appropriately to ensure Australia’s equity markets remain resilient. In a letter published last week [14 May, 2020], all equity market participants are requested to take reasonable steps to ensure the number of trades matched from their orders: are capable of being handled by their internal processing and

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ASIC secures over $160 million in remediation for junk consumer credit insurance

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ASIC announced the final tranche in over $160 million in remediation for consumers sold junk consumer credit insurance (CCI). This follows ASIC’s 2019 report (REP 622) on the sale of CCI by 11 major banks and lenders across eight years, which found that the design and sale of CCI had consistently failed consumers. ASIC Deputy

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ASIC establishes a national expert group on young people and money

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This week, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) financial literacy results. The survey measures how well 15-year-olds understand commonly used financial concepts and how capable they are at solving routine problems in financial contexts. In 2018, Australian students performed above the OECD average and

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Retail investors at risk in volatile markets

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ASIC analysis of markets during the COVID-19 period has revealed a substantial increase in retail activity across the securities market, as well as greater exposure to risk. We found that some retail investors are engaging in short term trading strategies unsuccessfully attempting to time price trends. Trading frequency has increased rapidly, as has the number

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