Topic: Regulation

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Delaying the inevitable – More time for insurers to prepare for Royal Commission reforms

While the clock is still ticking for insurers to implement reforms recommended by Commissioner Hayne, it is now ticking more slowly. The Australian Government has announced that implementation of the reforms recommended by the Financial Services Royal Commission will be deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Commencement dates contained in the exposure draft legislation issued … Continue reading

No codes, just plain English in the new General Insurance Code of Practice

The Insurance Council of Australia recently launched the 2020 General Insurance Code of Practice (GICOP). The new GICOP continues the evolution of insurer self-regulation which commenced in 1994 and, like its previous iterations, promotes protection of consumers and other policyholders at various touchpoints throughout the customer journey. While the adoption of the GICOP is currently … Continue reading

Financial services monthly wrap up – February 2020

The month of February 2020 has seen the passing of a number of bills implementing recommendations from the financial services Royal Commission, including measures strengthening the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) licensing, search warrant and banning powers as well as reforms to protect consumers. February has also seen the welcoming of proposals from both … Continue reading

Financial services monthly wrap up: December 2019 to January 2020

The months of December 2019 and January 2020 have proven to be a busy time for our Government and regulators, with significant changes and proposals for the funds and financial services sector. In particular, Treasury have released 17 bills in response to 22 recommendations made by Commissioner Hayne in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in … Continue reading

The ‘fairness revolution’ continues: Government releases draft legislation extending unfair contract terms regime to insurance

Following a consultation period last year, the Treasury has released draft legislation to extend the unfair contract terms regime to insurance contracts. In releasing the draft legislation, the government has reaffirmed its commitment to implementing all 76 recommendations from Commissioner Hayne’s Royal Commission Final Report. Consultation is now open until 28 August 2019 following which … Continue reading

ASIC proposes a freeze on cold calling practices

Following the release of Report 622 earlier this month, which was highly critical of sales of consumer credit insurance, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released Consultation Paper 317 (CP 317). Under CP 317, ASIC proposes to prohibit unsolicited telephone sales of two types of insurance – direct life insurance and consumer credit … Continue reading

ASIC consults on new IDR ideas

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released Consultation Paper 311 seeking input from interested parties on 15 proposals that will change the way Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) holders conduct and report on internal dispute resolution (IDR)  processes. Submissions close on 9 August 2019, with the final revisions to Regulatory Guide 165: Internal … Continue reading

Privacy Shake-Up – Tougher Penalties and More Funding

What’s happened? The Australian Attorney-General’s department has announced a proposed new regime that would make changes to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Act). The proposed changes would see a significant expansion of the powers afforded to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), particularly with respect to the scope of penalties that may be … Continue reading

Removal of the claims handling exemption – what will it mean for insurers?

A Norton Rose Fulbright webinar with John Anning, Insurance Council of Australia Continuing on from our blog series “Insurance After Hayne”, we will be posting short interviews with industry and legal experts on the Hayne recommendations and the proposed reforms to the industry. In the first of these interviews, Ray Giblett (insurance partner, Sydney) sat … Continue reading

Insurance After Hayne Part 6 – The BEAR necessities

Welcome to the 6th and final instalment of our weekly updates following the Hayne Royal Commission into the financial services industry. This week we focus on Recommendation 4.12, in which Hayne recommends that the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) be extended to other financial service providers, including insurers. Now that the full contents of the … Continue reading

What the updated ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations mean for insurers

As the shadow of the Hayne Royal commission continues to loom over the financial services industry, insurers should be preparing for another change in the governance and compliance landscape which promises to further heighten the demands being made of Australia’s leading financial institutions. The ASX released its updated Corporate Governance Principles & Recommendations this week, … Continue reading

Norton Rose Fulbright contributes to ALRC’s review of litigation funding

The Australian Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) report ‘Integrity, Fairness and Efficiency—An Inquiry into Class Action Proceedings and Third-Party Litigation Funders’[1], was released on 25 January 2019. The report makes 24 recommendations in an effort to ‘shake up’ a now-booming sector.  The ALRC received over 75 submissions in response to their initial Discussion Paper[2], including a … Continue reading

Less is more? Do insurance customers know what they’ve been given?

Ahead of the release of the Financial Services Royal Commission’s final report, the Treasury has released a discussion paper seeking input in relation to disclosure in general insurance. The focus of the paper is to explore ways to improve current disclosure requirements to ensure positive consumer outcomes. The consultation process is open until 28 February … Continue reading

New Prudential Standard for the Information Age – CPS 234

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has finalised a new Information Security Prudential Standard (CPS 234) coming into effect on 1 July 2019.  CPS 234 will apply to all APRA regulated entities, including insurers. The purpose of CPS 234 is to ensure that an APRA regulated entity has measures in place to be resilient against … Continue reading

APRA releases new prudential standards to boost fitness of private health insurers

APRA has recently released the final versions of three Prudential Standards which will apply to private health insurers (PHIs) from 1 July 2019.  New versions of the following prudential standards have been released: Prudential Standard CPS 510 – Governance; Prudential Standard CPS 520 – Fit and Proper;  and Prudential Standard HPS 310 – Audit and … Continue reading

D & Oh no! – rising liability for directors and officers in 2018

Growing global regulatory oversight and increased pressure on ASIC to take punitive action means that 2018 is to likely to be a year fraught with new and greater risks for Australian executives. ASIC penalties were once likened to “being hit with a lettuce leaf” by Financial System Inquiry chair David Murray, and there is a … Continue reading

ASIC’s enforcement priorities: what do they mean for insurers?

ASIC has released its enforcement report for the period 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2017, which outlines ASIC’s enforcement results during the period.  The report also provides an overview of some of ASIC’s enforcement priorities, the top three of which are: (1) Gatekeeper culture and the ‘big end’ of town ASIC continues to focus … Continue reading

A new body for financial disputes in Australia

Continuing Federal Government reforms of the financial services sector will see the end of separate external dispute resolution forums, with the introduction of a one-stop shop for all financial disputes in mid-2018. In the 2017 Federal Budget, the Government flagged its intention to bring the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) into operation by 1 July … Continue reading

What ASIC has in store for the insurance industry in 2017

Recently, the chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Greg Medcraft, delivered a speech to the Insurance Council of Australia Forum on the current insurance environment and ASIC’s priorities for the coming year, with a focus on the insurance industry. Current Environment Mr Medcraft acknowledged that 2016 was an eventful year for the … Continue reading

Product suitability and intervention powers one step closer

Treasury released its public consultation paper on the proposed introduction of product suitability obligations and intervention powers for ASIC in December, bringing the reforms recommended  by the Financial System Inquiry one step closer to reality. The consumer protection measures will require issuers and distributors of insurance (and other financial) products to ensure products are suitable … Continue reading

2016 York-Antwerp Rules: one step back, two steps forward?

In May 2016, Comité Maritime International approved a new version of the York-Antwerp Rules (YAR). These Rules return to many of the provisions of the 1994 Rules and early indications are that they will prove more popular with the shipping community than the contentious 2004 Rules. What are the YARs? The YARs provide a standard … Continue reading

Would you like insurance with that? ASIC dishes up advice on add-on insurance

ASIC’s latest report (Report 492) on add-on insurance makes for sobering reading. Following a review of add-on general insurance products sold through car dealers, ASIC identifies a number of concerns. This follows earlier reports focused on consumer experiences (Report 470) and the sale of life insurance through car dealers (Report 471). The most recent report … Continue reading