Australian Regulatory Compliance Review

APRA defines Tier 1 mutual equity interests

APRA has released the final amended Prudential Standard APS 111 Capital Adequacy: Measurement of Capital (APS 111), which allows mutually owned ADIs to issue Additional Tier 1 (AT1) and Tier 2 (T2) Capital instruments that will qualify to be included in Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) Capital provided they meet the requirements in Attachments B, F, J and K of APS 111.

To qualify, the capital instruments must provide for conversion into mutual equity interests (MEI) in the event that the loss absorption or non-viability provisions in these instruments are triggered.

Conversion into ordinary shares is not possible […]

Privacy case note: disclosure of personal information in public place

Whilst cyber security receives constant publicity, the most obvious privacy breach risk is the disclosure of information in public areas, whether it is an office, a lift, a bus or an airport.

In ‘BO’ and AeroCare Pty Ltd [2014] AICmr 32 the Privacy Commissioner found that AeroCare interfered with the complainant’s privacy by collecting and disclosing the complainant’s sensitive personal medical information in the departure lounge of the Sunshine Coast Airport, in breach of the National Privacy Principles.

AeroCare was ordered to apologise in writing to the complainant, review its training of staff in the handling of sensitive personal information and […]

By |April 16th, 2014|Privacy, Workplace|

Financial Services and Credit Responsible Manager CPD seminars

Our CPD seminars are taking place in Sydney on 6 May and Brisbane on 13 May. The seminar will focus on the most important regulatory issues affecting financial services responsible managers today including conduct risk, privacy and credit reporting.

Seats are limited. Book now.

Transition period ends on 30 June 2014
The transition period for responsible managers of credit licensees to hold relevant qualifications ends on 30 June (see ASIC RG206 and PF 224).

Licensees demonstrate organisational competence by having responsible managers with adequate skills and knowledge. In their license application applicants have to identify key people in the organisation whose qualifications […]

Draft Corporations Act changes released

Treasury has released an exposure draft of the Corporations Legislation Amendment (Deregulatory and Other Measures) Bill 2014 for comment.

If passed the Bill will amend the Corporations Act 2001 including:
removing the obligation of a company to hold a general meeting on the request of 100 shareholders;
removing the requirement to disclose the value of options granted to key management personnel, replacing it with a requirement to disclose the number of lapsed options and the year in which they were granted;
relieving unlisted disclosing entities from the obligation to prepare a remuneration report;
amendments to the test for the ability […]

ASIC admits performance failures

The Senate Economics Committee inquiry into the performance of ASIC has heard admissions of delays from ASIC’s Commissioners as well as a commitment to be more pro-active and transparent in responding to complaints.

This video (3:11) from ABC’s The Business describes ASIC’s admissions as a mea culpa in relation to frauds by employees CBA’s financial planning arm and shows the Commissioners giving evidence.

PPSA definition of “motor vehicle” amended

The Personal Property Securities Amendment (Motor Vehicles) Regulation 2014 has been registered. It will commence on 1 July 2014.

As foreshadowed when the Personal Property Securities Amendment (Deregulatory Measures) Bill 2014 was recently introduced the Regulation narrows the definition of motor vehicles by combining the two parts of the definition (ie requiring both speed and power output).

The current definition of motor vehicle in the PPS Regulations includes personal property that is built to be propelled, wholly on land, by a motor that forms part of the property and is capable of either a speed of at least 10km/h or has […]

Franchising Code refinements

The Government has released for public consultation on technical issues only an exposure draft of an amended Franchising Code of Conduct (‘the Code’) and amendments to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (‘the CCA’).

The changes to the CCA allow the regulator to:
seek civil pecuniary penalties of up to $51,000 from the courts, and
issue infringement notices of up to $8,500 without having to seek a court order.

The exposure draft Code includes:
introducing a general duty on franchisors and franchisees to act in good faith and honestly, cooperatively and not arbitrarily during their dealings with each other, […]

Statutory Review of the Personal Property Securities Act

The Government has announced a review into the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (the Act). The review will consider the operation and effects of the Act.

The review will assess whether the Act is meeting its objective of providing greater certainty to lenders and helping business to access finance.

An interim report will be prepared by 31 July 2014 with recommendations on priority actions for the Government to consider focussing on issues raised in relation to small businesses.

The final report is due on 30 January 2015 and is expected to make recommendations on how to improve […]

Credit reporting privacy code varied

Following an application by the Australian Retail Credit Association the Information Commissioner has approved a variation to extend the 5 day ‘grace period’ to 14 days, for repayment history information to be classified as a missed payment.

The varied CR code can be downloaded here.

ASX releases final 3rd edition Corporate Governance Principles

The ASX Corporate Governance Council has released its Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations (Third Edition) which takes effect for a listed entity’s first full financial year commencing on or after 1 July 2014.

Whilst they do not bind unlisted entities the Principles are regarded as good practice.

The changes include:
Recommendation 1.4 provides that “the company secretary of an entity should be accountable directly to the board, through the chair, on all matters to do with the proper functioning of the board”.
Recommendation 2.3 states that director independence is to be assessed by considering whether the director has served for “such […]