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Treasury has released for consultation an Exposure Draft of the Corporations Amendment (virtual meetings and electronic communications) Bill 2020 which amends the Corporations Act to make permanent the temporary COVID-19 relief, which allows companies to hold meetings virtually, send meeting-related materials electronically and validly execute documents electronically. If passed, the Bill allows electronic means or alternative technologies to be used to: • execute company documents; • hold meetings of directors of a company, meetings of shareholders…
The recent announcements of consumer credit changes (including to responsible lending) and insolvency law reform will affect your regulatory change planning and preparation. Here’s a snapshot of key changes coming up (that have been passed or announced) for the rest of 2020 and 2021. The Government says that by 30 June 2021, legislation for all Financial Service Royal Commission recommendations requiring legislative change will have been introduced into parliament. These changes and other reviews will…
Overview In a Budget that focusses on fiscal policies and tax changes, there are a number of references to issues related to financial services regulation. Digital Business The Government’s Digital Business Plan is intended to improve productivity, income growth and jobs by supporting the adoption of digital technologies by Australian businesses. Measures to reduce regulatory barriers include: • continued implementation of the Consumer Data Right • delivery of a Regtech Commercialisation Initiative to streamline Government…
The Commonwealth Attorney-General has released a draft National WHS COVID-19 Model Code of Practice to provide businesses and workers guidance on what they need to do to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 in the workplace. The draft code builds on the National Cabinet’s COVID-19 safe workplace principles, which included establishing Safe Work Australia as a central source of practical guidance and tools on managing the WHS risks of COVID-19. Until there is an effective vaccine…
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has issued comments on “better practice” for authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) assessment and management of loans with repayment deferrals. ADIs are encouraged by APRA to consider the following areas of better practice identified through its review of plans submitted by ADI’s: Governance and oversight: regular operational reporting to senior management to enable timely escalation of issues that may require management attention and oversight of progress against the implementation of…
The Government has extended temporary insolvency relief until 31 December 2020 and the Treasurer has announced the Government’s intention to introduce a new insolvency process under which incorporated businesses with liabilities of less than $1 million will be able to keep trading without an administrator while they develop a debt restructuring plan which will be voted on by creditors. The intention is for this new insolvency regime to start from 1 January 2021, following on…
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has issued the final amendments to Prudential Standard APS 220 Credit Quality which gives effect to the temporary capital treatment for loans with repayment deferrals or restructures due to COVID-19. This applies to ADIs working with borrowers to return them to a sustainable repayment structure, following the end of a loan repayment deferral. However, in the event that there is objective evidence that a borrower is unlikely to be…
Insolvent trading relief extended The Commonwealth Government has announced it will continue to provide regulatory relief for businesses that have been impacted by the Coronavirus crisis by extending temporary insolvency and bankruptcy protections until 31 December 2020. The original relief was due to expire on 24 September 2020. Regulations will be made to extend the temporary increase in the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company (from $2,000 to $20,000)…
ASIC has published its Corporate Plan for 2020-24 as well as its work to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its revised timetable of ongoing work. Its short term priorities include protecting consumers from harm at a time of heightened vulnerability and supporting Australian businesses to respond to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its longer-term focus areas include: deterring poor behaviour and misconduct through its ‘Why not litigate?’ discipline and driving cultural change using all…
The Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology has published its Interim Report. Its 32 recommendations include that the Australian Government establish a market basis for determining the success of Australia’s financial regulators in supporting a pro-innovation and pro-competition culture in financial services. The Report discusses issues such as the regulation of buy now, pay later services and screen-scraping but does not make any specific recommendations about them. The Report deals with:…