Regulatory updates and insights for the week August 9, 2019

Here is the MWC wrap up of news and events from our global Regulators:


APRA has served infringement notices on Westpac Banking Corporation and two of its subsidiaries for failing to meet their legal obligations to report data to APRA (being 28 days late in submitting reports on economic and financial statistics).  APRA requires the Westpac entities to pay a cumulative penalty of $1.5m. Certainly indications that APRA are becoming far less tolerant than perhaps they once were.


Details for public hearings on ASIC’s responsible lending guidance were announced – with Sydney held on 12th Aug, and Melbourne the 19th August – the hearings are part of the wider public consultation on ASIC’s guidance on the responsible lending obligations.


On the 7th Aug AFMA CEO David Lynch was announced as the elected Chair of the International Council of Securities Associations (ICSA), the first Australian representative to hold the position. ICSA is the primary global securities industry body, encompassing 19 securities industry associations from Asia, Europe and North America.  It provides a forum to raise awareness of regional developments, exchange views, and collaborate on efforts to improve global capital markets.”


8th Aug saw the ACCC institute proceedings in the Federal Court against online health booking platform HealthEngine Pty Ltd for misleading and deceptive conduct relating to the sharing of consumer information with insurance brokers and the publishing of patient reviews and ratings. They allege that HealthEngine refused to publish negative reviews and altered feedback to remove negative aspects, or to embellish it before publishing the reviews.  It also is alleged to have given information such as names, phone numbers, email addresses and date of birth of over 135,000 patients to private health insurance brokers for a fee without adequately disclosing it would do so.      This highlights the issues of transparency and adequate disclosure when digital platforms collect and use consumer data is one of the top priorities at the ACCC.

In other interesting news:

Large accounting firms providing audit and non audit services have come under fire again with Ernst & Young’s audit division been accused of fraud and deceit in a civil claim in the NSW Supreme Court. You can read the full article here


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