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New laws to protect financial service consumers in Australia


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Australian regulator ASIC just announced that it has welcomed the passage of key financial services reforms contained in the Treasury Laws Amendment (Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Powers) legislation.

The reforms will include:

  • a design and distribution obligations regime for financial services firms; and
  • a product intervention power for ASIC

In less than 3 years these reforms will require issuers to identify in advance the consumers for whom their products are appropriate, and direct distribution to that target market.

James Shipton
James Shipton

Looks like ASIC will get the same powers as ESMA, and two sources already confirmed that they are planning to introduce the same CFD/FX-restrictions in Australia from 2021 on.

ASIC Chair James Shipton commented that these reforms were a critical factor in the development of a financial services industry in which consumers could feel confident placing their trust.

These new powers will enable ASIC to take broader, more proactive action to improve standards and achieve fairer consumer outcomes in the financial services sector. This will be a significant boost for ASIC in achieving its vision of a fair, strong and efficient financial system for all Australians,’ he said.

This will also provide invaluable assistance to ASIC as we all seek to rebuild the community’s trust in our banking and broader wealth management industries. And we note the overwhelming level of support this attracted from across the Parliament.

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New laws to protect financial service consumers in Australia

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