Regulatory Recap - 4 April 2016

Recent Key Developments

  • Presenters at ASIC's Annual Forum 2016 show united enthusiasm for technologically-driven improvements in financial services and confirm culture matters to ASIC, business and consumers.
  • ASIC and FCA sign world-first agreement to support innovative FinTech businesses in Australia and United Kingdom.

Australia

  • ASIC Chairman, Greg Medcraft, delivers opening speech at ASIC Annual Forum 2016 on Culture Shock, noting "good culture enhances brand loyalty and bolsters reputation, which has a very real financial impact": > read more
  • ASIC releases Enforcement Report for 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015, confirming $149 million secured in compensation/remediation and outlining ASIC's continued areas of focus including integrity of financial market benchmarks, disclosure obligations and market abuse: > read more
  • ASIC issues information sheet on marketplace lending, containing guidance on good practice strategies: > read more
  • ASIC releases consultation paper and draft Regulatory Guide on digital financial product advice or 'robo-advice', seeking feedback on how AFS licensees should monitor and test algorithms underpinning digital advice: > read more
  • ASIC releases report outlining findings of its review of conflicts management practices in vertically integrated businesses in the funds management industry, emphasising the role remuneration and incentives play as drivers of behaviour: > read more
  • ASIC makes modifications to ePayments Code, now permitting documents under the Code to be delivered to consumers digitally as the default option unless consumers opt out: > read more
  • RBA Governor, Glenn Stevens, addresses ASIC Annual Forum on how to withstand major global shocks: > read more
  • Council of Financial Regulators releases paper consulting on regulatory reform proposals relating to administration of significant benchmarks, submission to significant benchmarks and offences applying to benchmark misconduct: > read more
  • APRA General Manager of Industry Analysis, Heidi Richards, addresses Macquarie University Financial Risk Day on 'A Prudential Approach to Mortgage Lending', noting housing lending has become and remains an important element of our financial system: > read more
  • Treasury releases statement on Australia’s FinTech future, noting FinTech is all about stimulating technological innovation so that financial markets and systems can become more efficient and consumer‑focussed: > read more

International

United Kingdom

  • FCA and ASIC sign agreement to support FinTech businesses seeking to operate in Australia and United Kingdom, to help reduce regulatory uncertainty and time to market: > read more

United States

  • CFPB issues advisory and report with recommendations for banks on how to prevent, recognise, report and respond to financial exploitation of older Americans: > read more and read more

General

  • IOSCO announces 2019 Annual Conference to be held in Australia: > read more

Our Regulatory Risk + Strategy Team

Scott Atkins

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

Scott Atkins Partner

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 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

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 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 is a banking and insolvency litigation and regulatory expert. She acts for the major Australian financial institutions in relation to matters involving customer disputes, fraud, regulatory and compliance issues, security enforcement and debt recovery. 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.

Claudine 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 is currently assisting a financial institution in a review and remediation scheme and in a large scale recovery matter against a religious organisation. She is also involved in advising financial institutions in relation to their compliance with regulatory obligations.

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