AML/CTF changes in 2018

In this article we take an in-depth look at the latest amendments to the AML/CTF legislation and rules. Background In December 2013 the Government began a statutory review of Australia’s anti-money laundering legislation, the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth) (the AML/CTF Act). The report of the review …

Financial Services and Credit Quarterly Update – January 2018

North Sydney business lawyers

Welcome to 2018. 2017 ended with a bang, in the form of a Royal Commission into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industries announced on 30 November. You’ll find an overview of the Royal Commission and other developments in the last quarter of 2017 in our latest Financial …

NPP + NDB

  The New Payments Platform (NPP) and Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) are both starting in early 2018. It’s now time to assess your readiness and update your policies, procedures and documentation. NPP If you are participating in the NPP, you will have to amend your account and payment facility terms …

Soon it will be easier to become a bank

Regulation makes it hard to set up a new bank in Australia. But the Government says the banking system should be more competitive. Well, wouldn’t it be more competitive if they made it easier to become a bank? Finally, something is being done. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) recently …

Competition law – 10 key changes in effect now

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It’s been a long time coming. Significant reforms to Australia’s competition laws recommended by the Harper Review back in 2015 came into effect on Monday, 6 November 2017. This article highlights 10 key changes to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA). We’ve also produced a Quick Guide to …

Open Banking for Australia: hand over your data

The Federal Government announced in the 2017-18 Budget that it would introduce an “Open Banking” regime in Australia. Under Open Banking, banks will have to share product and customer data with customers and third parties, if the customer gives consent. There is already plenty of sharing of bank data. Accounting software such …

Australian Fintech Regulation 101

Click here to get our one page basic overview of the main legislation and codes affecting fintech business in Australia.

Financial Services and Credit Quarterly Update October 2017

Our latest Financial Services and Credit Quarterly Update for the third quarter of 2017 can be downloaded here. In the last 3 months, APRA has been much in the news: draft legislation for the APRA-administered BEAR has now been released; APRA is consulting on a new regime to make it easier to become …

ASIC flexes its power to ban flex commissions

ASIC is banning “flex commissions” from 1 November 2018. In basic terms, a flex commission is where the amount of commission depends on the interest rate charged to the consumer: the higher the return for the credit provider, the more the introducer is paid in commission. Details of the ban …

More credit card regulation on the way

The next round of changes to consumer credit laws is coming, with the release of draft legislation on credit card reforms. Treasury unveiled a package of documents on 14 August 2017 including a draft Bill, draft regulations and explanatory materials. The key reforms introduced by the draft Bill are: tightening responsible lending …

The BEAR Necessities: Understanding the Proposed Banking Executive Accountability Regime

In response to the Coleman Report on Australia’s four large banks (see here for a summary), the 2017 Federal Budget included a proposed Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) to be administered by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). Treasury released a consultation paper on the BEAR on 13 July 2017 (the Paper) and has been …

What’s happening with crowdfunding

Starts soon Equity crowdfunding will finally begin in Australia from 29 September 2017. When we last reviewed crowdfunding a year ago, Australia’s efforts to introduce crowdfunding laws had been stalled by the 2016 election. After the election, the proposed legislation was brought back and passed through the Parliament in March 2017. Even before the …

Financial Services and Credit Quarterly Update July 2017

Our latest Financial Services and Credit Quarterly Update for the second quarter of 2017 can be downloaded here. In the last three months there have been a number of important announcements in the Federal Budget affecting the financial services sector. These include: the new big bank levy, which is also …

How to get ready for Notifiable Data Breaches

On 29 January 2015, Anthem Inc, one of the largest health benefits companies in the United States, discovered that cyber attackers had gained access to its IT system. The hackers stole personal information relating to Anthem customers and other independent health plans that work with Anthem. It is reported that …

Covenant light: the new look for small business loan contracts

Last year we asked if small business lending could end up like consumer lending. Well, it is certainly heading that way. There are some important recent developments that will fundamentally change small business loan contracts. Obligations normally imposed by lenders are being dialled back or removed for small business borrowers. …

Banks in the firing line: Government adopts Coleman Report recommendations

The 2017 Budget has a whole bunch of measures to regulate and tax the banking and financial sector. Altogether they are (in the words of the Treasurer) nothing less than “an overhaul of financial system.” A summary of the banking and financial services reforms announced in the Budget can be …

Self-reporting of significant breaches for credit licensees proposed

Australian credit licence (ACL) holders will have to self-report significant actual or likely breaches of their licence obligations if a proposal by the taskforce conducting a Review of ASIC Enforcement (Taskforce) is adopted. One of the responsibilities of the Taskforce is to look at the adequacy of the framework for …

4 reasons why you should now consider a responsible lending compliance review

North Sydney business lawyers

Credit assessment is no longer just about managing credit risk: it’s also a compliance obligation. Responsible lending under the credit legislation requires credit licensees to: make reasonable inquiries about the consumer’s requirements and objectives and financial situation; take reasonable steps to verify the consumer’s financial situation; make an assessment whether …

Metadata: what’s it all about?

Can metadata be personal information protected by Australia’s Privacy Act? A recent case considered this question. Defining metadata Before looking at the case, we should define what we mean by “metadata”. Let’s use an example of a client file that a professional adviser would hold for a client. Inside the …

Regtech rising

Fintech lawyers sydney

No doubt you’ve heard about fintech, but what about “regtech”? Fintech is about using technology to provide financial services. Regtech is about using technology to comply with regulation. Regtech is not limited to the financial services sector, but that’s where it is growing, for two reasons I think. There is …