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Weekly Regulatory Update – August 2, 2019

Below is a snapshot of our take on Regulator and Industry Bodies activity globally – let us know if you want to discuss anything in more detail…

FATF

Did you know it was the 30th Anniversary of the FATF?! The Chinese presidency of the FATF commenced 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 and we have just finished reading through the most recent FATF Business Bulletin report which included the outcomes from the June plenary meeting relevant for the private sector. You can find a link to that bulletin here. Other things to note:

  • Major strategic initiatives on the go include mitigating risks from virtual asset activities, risk-approach guidance on virtual assets and virtual asset service providers
  • Mutual evaluations have recently been conducted for Greece; Hong Kong and China
  • Saudi Arabia been granted full membership following their 2018 mutual evaluation outcomes.

AUSTRAC

On the 30 JULY the Treasury’s consultation on the introduction of a cash payment limit (10k) was announced. The limit is expected to be introduced 1 Jan 2020. Consultation period closes 12 August. This is likely to form part of the demonstration to FATF to combat Money Laundering in lieu of Tranche 2 legislation being effected.

The Fintel Alliance released details of a case study where the Alliance was able to assist Police with financial intelligence. An arrest of a senior crime syndicate was made following the theft of $20k from a 79 yo customer. The syndicate involved members ‘cold calling’ victims and asserting to be technicians from their telecommunication company. The syndicate took remote control of the victims computer via remote access.

If you are lucky enough to contribute to the AUSTRAC levy – a review of the AUSTRAC industry contribution levy arrangements report is also now available.

 

APRA

APRA’s 2019 Stakeholder Survey found more than 90 percent of regulated entities believe APRA’s supervision helps to protect both their industry and the Australian community.  Notwithstanding the overall high and positive results, the survey picked up a slight downward trend in overall perceptions of APRA compared to the 2017 survey.  The survey highlighted industry concern about the costs of regulatory compliance and identified that a third of respondents thought APRA collected too much statistical data. This may suggest  that entities were placing less importance on the harmonisation of the prudential framework across regulated industries.

APRA’s new Data Collection Solution Implementation Plan for the new Data Collection Solution provides guidance for entities to assist in their preparation for transitioning to reporting using the new solution. It includes information for reporting entities, third-party administrators (Service Providers) and regulatory technology providers (RegTechs) about key changes to the submission of reporting data, technical specifications, APRA’s expectation for entity readiness, testing and training.

ASIC

As at 30 June 2019 Australia’s five largest banking and financial services institutions have paid a total of $119.7m in compensation as  for poor financial advice – so far nab is leading the pack in terms of amounts paid.

Trustees have been warned about influencing employers through improper inducements.  The guidance set out in Infosheet 241, draws attention to the recently amended s68A of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993. Using improper inducements to influence employers in their choice of default fund is illegal.

Former Leighton Holdings executive Mr Gregg was found guilty by a jury after a five-week trial of two counts of contravening section 1307(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 by having engaged in conduct that resulted in the falsification of LHL’s books. The payment instruction directed that USD$12.5 million be paid for the purpose of ‘marketing and advisory’ services and that USD$2.5 million be paid as a ‘loan’. During the course of trial, the Crown alleged that the payment instruction was false because it did not describe the true purpose of the payment. At the Sentence Hearing it was submitted by the Crown that it was open for the Court to find that the true purpose of the payment was to secure the waiver of a financial obligation that one of LHL’s subsidiary’s had in connection with its business in India.

ACIC:

National Wastewater Drug Monitoring program – seventh report –  of the 25 countries with comparable stimulant data, Australia ranks second for methylamphetamine and MDMA, with relatively low cocaine consumption.  Stimulant consumption in Australia continues to be primarily driven by methylamphetamine use.

ACCC

The final report into digital platforms inquiry looks specifically at the impact of digital platforms on consumers, businesses using platforms to advertise to and reach customers, and news media businesses that also use the platforms to disseminate their content. As directed by the Government in the Terms of Reference, the Report has a particular focus on the impact of digital platforms on the choice and quality of news and journalism.

The ACCC is concerned that the existing regulatory frameworks for the collection and use of data have not held up well to the challenges of digitalisation and the practical reality of targeted advertising that rely on the monetisation of consumer data and attention. These concerns are not limited to digital platforms, with an increasing number of businesses across the economy collecting and monetising consumer data.

 

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