Regulatory Recap - 16 May 2016

Recent Key Developments

  • Treasury releases final report on ASIC Capability Review, providing $127m in funding for ASIC. 
  • ASIC confirms ongoing investigations into mortgage broker and life insurance sectors.
  • ASIC and FCA introduce concept of regulatory sandbox to their respective Innovation Hubs.

Australia

  • Treasury releases ASIC Capability Review Final Report, providing 34 recommendations framed to ensure ASIC has the right governance and leadership, strategy and delivery capabilities to meet its objectives and regulatory challenges: > read more and read more
  • ASIC provides response to Capability Review Final Report, setting out positive actions it is already taking or will take to develop its capabilities in areas such as governance, culture and communication: > read more
  • ASIC appears before Senate Estimates Committee welcoming changes announced in Capability Review Final Report: > read more
  • ASIC announces upcoming consultation paper seeking feedback on regulatory sandbox exemption: > read more
  • ASIC Chairman, Greg Medcraft, term extended for 18 months to November 2017: > read more
  • ASIC Chairman, Greg Medcraft, addresses Investment Company Institute on his time at ASIC and the work of IOSCO and Financial Stability Board (FSB) on asset management and liquidity: > read more
  • ASIC Chairman, Greg Medcraft, addresses US Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Symposium on The Challenge of Driving Global Economic Growth: > read more 
  • ASIC Commissioner, Cathie Armour, addresses General Council Summit on Improving Business Through Compliance: A Regulator's Perspective: > read more
  • APRA makes submission to Senate Economics Committee on the Life insurance industry: > read more
  • APRA Chair, Wayne Byers, addresses AFR Banking and Wealth Summit on Strength to Resilience: > read more
  • RBA Assistant Governor, Malcolm Edey, addresses Cards & Payments Australia Conference on The Card Payments Review: > read more
  • Treasurer, Scott Morrison, releases Government’s response to Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into credit card interest rates for public consultation: > read more
  • Treasurer, Scott Morrison, releases final report for public consultation on Review of Small Amount Credit Contract, including payday lending and consumer leasing: > read more
  • Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O'Dwyer, announces new independent expert panel to lead review into financial system’s external dispute resolution and complaints framework: > read more
  • Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O'Dwyer, announces members of reconstituted Financial Sector Advisory Council: > read more
  • Australian Council of Financial Regulators releases consultation paper on Financial Benchmarks Regulatory Reform, including proposals guided by IOSCO's Principles for Financial Benchmarks and the FSB's recommendations on FX and interest rate benchmarks: > read more

International

United Kingdom

  • FCA releases Business Plan 2016/17 with priorities of pensions, financial crime and anti-money laundering, wholesale financial markets, advice, innovation and technology, firms' culture and governance and treatment of existing customers: > read more
  • FCA Acting Chief Executive, Tracey McDermott, announces she will leave FCA on 1 July 2016: > read more
  • FCA Acting Chief Executive, Tracey McDermott, addresses Credit Summit reflecting on the past two years of regulation of consumer credit: > read more
  • FCA publishes Regulatory Sandbox Report, expanding Project Innovate to introduce a safe space in which businesses can test innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms without immediately incurring all the normal regulatory consequences of pilot activities: > read more
  • Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) releases supervisory statement on Corporate Governance: Board Responsibilities, detailing the PRA's expectation that boards and management of regulated firms run the business prudently, consistent with the firm’s own safety and soundness and the continuing stability of the financial system: > read more

United States

  • SEC Chair, Mary Jo White, requests budget of $1.781b for 2017 financial year: > read more
  • SEC Chair, Mary Jo White, addresses Rock Center on Corporate Governance on the concept of 'fintech unicorns': > read more
  • SEC Commissioner, Kara Stein, addresses Rocky Mountain Securities Conference on Disclosure in the Digital Age: A New Revolution: > read more
  • CFPB proposes rule prohibiting financial companies from using mandatory-arbitration clauses in contracts with consumers as a way to block class-action lawsuits and force customers into private negotiations to solve disputes: > read more
  • Cornerstone Research releases Securities Class Action Settlements Report, noting significant increase in number and value of US securities class action settlements in 2015: > read more

General

  • IOSCO appoints new board with former Vice Chair, Ashley Alder, replacing Greg Medcraft as Chair: > read more
  • IOSCO publishes report, Cyber Security in Securities Markets - An International Perspective, providing review of different regulatory approaches and potential tools available to regulators to respond to the cyber risk: > read more

Our Regulatory Risk + Strategy Team

Scott Atkins

I'm unapologetically determined and fearless. I pursue excellence. Always.

Scott Atkins Partner

Scott is the Chair of our Board and an internationally renowned insolvency and restructuring lawyer. He is an inaugural Fellow and a member of the Board of INSOL International. Scott is also Vice President of the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA).

Scott is a trusted adviser to Australia's leading banks and insolvency and restructuring practitioners and has acted on some of the industry's most complex and sensitive banking and insolvency advisory and dispute resolution matters.

Prior to joining HDY, Scott practiced for 7 years as in-house counsel with Commonwealth Bank Group. He is now our Client Relationship Partner for the CBA Group. He is also the co-leader of our cross-border insolvency practice and our regulatory enforcement practice. Scott is recognised by his peers for his leading expertise in cross-border insolvency, acting on both inbound engagements in Australia and advising Australian clients on outbound engagements in the USA, UK, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong and The Netherlands, among other jurisdictions.

Scott was the Australian delegate on the Advisory Committee on Comparative Law established by the American Bankruptcy Institute as part of its Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. This resulted in a landmark report for the reform of Chapter 11.

He is a published author on insolvency and cross-border insolvency. Most recently, Scott was one of the Australian contributors to the 2015 publication 'International Contributions to the reform of Chapter 11 U.S. bankruptcy code' which is volume 2 of the European and International Insolvency Law Studies series. He also authored the Australian chapter of Avoidance of Antecedent Transactions and Cross-Border Insolvency (INSOL International). Among other publications, he is the co-author, together with Professor Rosalind Mason, of the Australian chapter of Look Chan Ho's leading text: Cross-Border Insolvency: Cases and Materials (Kluwer International).

Scott is a visiting lecturer on cross-border insolvency at the University of Sydney in its undergraduate and postgraduate law programs lead by Professor John Stumbles.

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Nikki Bentley

I understand the financial services industry and thrive on helping our clients in this industry succeed.

Nikki Bentley Partner

Nikki is the Group Leader of Henry Davis York's Corporate Group, which includes the legal teams for Corporate / Mergers & Acquisitions; Investments & Financial Services and Tax.

Nikki is a leading investment funds advisor specialising in financial services and corporate law.  She specialises in business establishment and structuring, fund establishment, funds merger and acquisition, product disclosure and distribution. Nikki leads HDY's corporate group which combines expertise from the Financial Services, M&A and Tax areas.

Nikki provides advice to leading Australian and global fund managers on a full range of corporate, commercial and regulatory issues facing their businesses. She has considerable experience in assisting clients with fund establishment (onshore and offshore), disclosure and distribution. Nikki regularly advises clients on establishing, buying, selling and restructuring their businesses. She also regularly assists clients responding to regulatory enquiries and investigations.

With more than 15 years funds management experience in private practice, government and as an in-house lawyer, Nikki's practice spans the range of funds management products, with particular expertise in hedge funds, property funds and equities.

Nikki is regularly involved in industry and government discussions on regulatory reforms impacting the Australian funds management industry. Nikki is a passionate advocate for the development of a new corporate collective investment vehicle because of the opportunities it could provide to grow the funds management industry. She is the Honorary Legal Counsel and Chair of the Regulatory Committee for the Australian branch of the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) and is a regular participant on the Financial Services Council (FSC) working groups.

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John Martin Partner

John is a leading lawyer in both financial sector dispute resolution (complex and regulatory) and corporate insolvency and restructuring, with a particular specialty in cross-border insolvencies. He is recognised by his clients, peers and legal directories as a leader in his field.
 

Domestically, John advises on large and complex insolvencies and assists in finding solutions for financial institutions with regulatory and other complex issues. His clients include several of Australia's major banks, as well as insolvency practitioners appointed to insolvent entities.

Internationally, John has advised in connection with insolvencies in England, Fiji, Bermuda, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Brunei, and Norfolk Island. His cross-border experience includes acting for the liquidators of an insolvent bank, and various liquidators of insurance and reinsurance companies.

John is a recognised authority on insolvency issues, with articles published in media outlets such as The Australian Financial Review and the Insolvency Law Journal. He has presented at numerous domestic conferences as well as internationally in the US, England, South Africa, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.

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Kathy Merrick

Having the trust of my clients means we work together to achieve the best outcome.

Kathy Merrick Partner

Kathy specialises in corporate insolvency, general commercial litigation and dispute resolution and has advised on many of Australia's biggest corporate disputes, collapses and investigations.

Kathy has been called upon to advise on many of Australia's major corporate disputes, collapses and investigations. Her clients include major corporations and financial institutions, directors, officers, accounting and professional services firms, administrators, liquidators, other corporate entities and individuals.

Kathy has extensive experience in the areas of insolvency, directors and officers duties, professional negligence claims, and regulatory and other investigations, representing parties whether as plaintiffs, defendants, investigators or the subject of investigation.

Kathy is a strong advocate for pro bono work and has played a lead role in developing our community and pro bono program.

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Claudine Salameh Partner

Claudine has over 15 years' experience dealing with legal issues in the financial services sector.

She is a banking and insolvency litigator and regulatory expert. She acts for the major Australian financial institutions in matters involving customer disputes and litigation, fraud, regulatory and compliance issues, regulatory investigations, inquiries and enforcement matters, security enforcement and insolvency litigation. She also acts for insolvency practitioners in formal receiverships, voluntary administrations and liquidations.

Claudine is well known for her ability to manage risks posed by litigation and regulatory inquiries and investigations. She is particularly attuned to reputational and business risks. She is highly strategic and creative and is recognised by her clients for being able to achieve the perfect balance between legal arguments and commercial and practical outcomes.

Claudine has been instrumental in working with clients to provide insights into the field of behavioural economics, which over the past few years, has been of interest to policy makers and regulators as a tool to engage in 'choice architecture'. On a practical level, Claudine has worked closely with clients to design approaches to customer engagement that make use of behavioural insights.   

Claudine is an expert in the conduct of review and remediation programs and provided assistance to the regulator, by way of submissions and her involvement in an industry working group, on ASIC's regulatory guide on review and remediation programs.

Claudine is very familiar with ASIC's powers to obtain documents and information from financial institutions and is called upon by financial institutions to provide assistance in these matters. She has a style that is conducive to having a fruitful dialogue with both the regulator and the various stakeholders within a financial institution.

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