This afternoon, the Senate Standing Committee on Economics released their report on the Treasury Laws Amendment (Banking Executive Accountability and Related Measures) Bill 2017 (BEAR Bill). The Economics Committee recommends that the BEAR Bill be passed but recommends the commencement date be pushed out for 12 months from the date of enactment.
In its report, the Committee made a number of additional suggestions in relation to scope and content of the draft legislation. The Committee suggested that:
- the government reconsider the need for joint and several liability provisions;
- the government consider whether a more proportionate penalty regime should be introduced for small to medium sized ADIs; and
- the BEAR legislation be extended to non-ADI firms in the financial sector in due course.
Glaring omissions from the Committee's review of the BEAR Bill include the application of the regime to Non-Executive Directors and the application of the regime to ADI subsidiaries in circumstances were those subsidiaries are governed through separate board and management structures.
With the Committee largely accepting the proposals set out in the BEAR Bill, we expect that the legislation should pass through both houses of Parliament with little resistance.