ASIC grants industry-wide relief to help members of frozen funds make hardship withdrawals

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ASIC have announced new relief measures for operators of managed funds to facilitate withdrawals by members facing financial hardship (hardship relief) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The conditional relief is available through a legislative instrument, which applies to all responsible entities (REs) of registered managed investment schemes (schemes) that have become ‘frozen funds’. The relief measures

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Superannuation trustees compensate members wrongly classified as ‘smokers’

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Superannuation trustees that were classifying new members as ‘smokers’ by default and charging them higher life insurance premiums have ceased this practice, and some trustees have remediated members for the extra premiums paid. Between 2017 to 2020, ASIC engaged with seven superannuation businesses, (comprising nine superannuation trustees) that had been, either at the time or

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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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