Allens

Financial
Services Regulation

Financial Services Regulation (FSR) in Australia provides the framework for a single licensing and disclosure regime for financial services providers.

It also provides a uniform scheme for financial products markets and clearing and settlement facilities. It covers most financial services and products.

FSR can apply to off-shore financial services providers, even if their connection with Australia seems very limited.

While the stated objectives of the FSR laws are simple, FSR is a complex and technical area and the laws are undergoing constant review, often resulting in changes to how financial products and services are regulated.

Allens cross-practice Financial Services Regulatory team includes experts from a range of practices within that the firm that advise clients with funds, super, wealth, insurance or banking businesses on regulatory issues that impact their business life-cycle from licensing, product development, distribution and marketing to regulatory compliance. We regularly advise Australian and international clients on regulatory investigations and disputes and have particular expertise in advising on Financial Services Regulatory issues involved in M&A transactions.

Rising interest – regulatory map of upcoming inquiries, reviews, and laws affecting financial institutions.

  • Strengthening penalties for corporate and financial sector misconduct – submissions closed 17 November 2017
  • ASIC's Directions Powers – submissions closed 20 November 2017
  • BEAR – Report by the Economics Legislation Committee tabled on 24 November 2017
  • Funds Management – consultation period ended on 8 December 2017
  • ASIC Fees-for-service Consultation Paper – submissions closed 15 December 2017
  • New Code of Banking Practice – 2017 submitted to ASIC for approval on 19 December 2018
  • OECD Working Group Phase 4 evaluation of Australia's foreign bribery laws – report published on 14 December 2017
  • Life insurance change to exemption against conflicted remuneration ban – commenced 1 January 2018
  • Amendment of AMF/CTF Rules – amendments registered on 11 January 2018
  • Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Power Proposals – submissions closed 9 February 2018
  • Productivity Commission – review into competition in the Australian financial system – draft report published on 9 February 2018
  • New Payments Platform – launched on 13 February 2018
  • Asia Region Funds Passport – consultation period for exposure draft ended on 5 March 2018
  • Financial Services Legislation Amendment (Crisis Resolution Powers and Other Measures) Act – commenced 5 March 2018
  • Treasury Laws Amendment (Banking Measures No. 1) Act – Non-ADI Lending Rules and Banking Act 1959 Objects Provision commenced 5 March 2018
  • Enhancing Whistleblower Protections – Economics Legislation Committee Report tabled 22 March 2018
  • Foreign bribery – report released on 28 March 2018
  • Strengthening Superannuation Member Outcomes – consultation closed 29 March 2018
  • Consumer protection in the banking, insurance and financial sector – report due 30 March 2018
  • Rationalisation of life insurance and managed investment scheme legacy products – report due by 31 March 2018
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2017 – commenced 3 April 2018
  • ASIC Consultation Paper 298– Oversight of AFCA – consultation ended 6 April 2018
  • Financial Services Royal Commission – Second Round of Hearings held on 16 April 2018
  • ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce – Government response published on 16 April 2018
  • Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Corporate Crime) Bill 2017 – report tabled on 20 April 2018
  • Restricted Authorised Deposit-taking Institution Licensing – commenced 4 May 2018
  • Treasury Laws Amendment (Banking Measures No. 1) Act – Changes to Restricted Terms effective 5 May 2018
  • Financial Services Royal Commission – Third Round of Hearings on 21 May 2018
  • Review into the Competitiveness of the Super System – report due June 2018
  • Prudential Standard CPS 234 Information Security – submissions close on 7 June 2018
  • BEAR – commencement on 1 July 2018 (and 1 July 2019 for small and medium ADIs)
  • Treasury Laws Amendment (Banking Measures No. 1) Act – Credit Card Reforms (part) commences 1 July 2018
  • Productivity Commission – review into competition in the Australian financial system
  • Financial Services Royal Commission – interim report due 30 September 2018
  • Australian Financial Complaints Authority – commences by 1 November 2018
  • Superannuation (Objective) legislation expected – Bill introduced to Parliament on 9 November 2016
  • Extending crowd-sourced equity funding to proprietary companies – Bill introduced to Parliament on 14 September 2017
  • Strengthening Trustee Arrangements for Registrable Superannuation Licensees – Bill introduced to Parliament on 14 September 2017
  • Enhancing Whistleblower Protections – Bill introduced to Parliament on 7 December 2017
  • Asia Region Funds Passport – Bill introduced to Parliament on 28 March 2018
  • Introduction of the Modern Slavery Act in Australia – legislation expected mid-2018
  • Mortgage Pricing Inquiry – expected after June 2018
  • Open banking data regime – implementation to commence from July 2019
  • ACCC to undertake regular inquiries into financial system competition issues
  • Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorism Financing – Phase 2
  • Improved consumer outcomes for mortgage broking
  • Monitoring leverage and risk within the superannuation system
  • Small amount credit contract laws





  • Treasury Laws Amendment (Banking Measures No. 1) Act – Credit Card Reforms (remainder) commences 1 January 2019
  • Professional standards of financial advisers – regime to commence 1 January 2019
  • Financial Services Royal Commission – final report due 1 February 2019

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