Yesterday the Australian Federal Government released its proposal paper on regulating the crypto industry (Paper). The government proposes to regulate exchanges, custodians and other digital asset service providers within the scope the Australian Financial Services (AFS) licensing regime.Read More
Earlier this month the government released a raft of documents on the future of payments regulation in Australia. These documents are:
- A Strategic Plan for Australia’s Payments System – “Strategic Plan” (available at: https://treasury.gov.au/publication/p2023-404960)
- the Payments System Modernisation (Licensing: Defining Payment Functions) – “Consultation Paper” (available at: https://treasury.gov.au/consultation/c2023-403207)
- the Reforms to the Payments Systems (Regulation) Act 1998 Consultation Paper – “PSRA Consultation” (available at: https://treasury.gov.au/consultation/c2023-403206)
In this Blog Post we take a deeper look at some of the key proposals from the Consultation Papers and what they will mean for operators in the payments ecosystem.Read More
Amid global calls for tailored regulation of artificial intelligence tools, the Australia Federal Government has released a discussion paper on the safe and responsible use of AI. The Government is consulting on what safeguards are needed to ensure Australia has an appropriate regulatory and governance framework.Read More
All holders of an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) with a retail client authorisation will need to comply with ASIC’s internal dispute resolution (IDR) reporting framework. Summary reports will need to be provided to ASIC on a 6 monthly basis, highlighting the status of each client complaint. Reporting obligations commence from 1 July 2023 (for reporting in January or February 2024). AFSL holders should put systems in place now to ensure all required information is being captured.Read More
By Daniel Knight and Oliver Herrmann
New licensing requirements for crypto service providers are coming, following a series of consultations launched last week by Treasurer, Jim Chalmers. The Government approach focuses on strengthening enforcement, bolstering consumer protection and ultimately establishing a new licensing framework.Read More
In the wake of the drawn out cryptocurrency market downturn, increased regulation of the sector seems inevitable. With nearly one million Australians transacting in cryptocurrencies last year, there have been widespread calls to enact additional protections for retail investors.Read More
The Australian Government has authorised a new external dispute resolution (EDR) scheme for financial disputes, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). AFCA will replace the current EDR schemes, FOS, CIO and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT), to create a ‘one stop shop’ with higher monetary limits for consumer and small business complaints against financial service providers including roboadvisers, marketplace lenders, payments providers and their representatives.
AFCA will commence accepting complaints from 1 November 2018 and any complaints not yet resolved by FOS or CIO will be transferred to AFCA. The SCT will continue to resolve its existing complaints but will not accept new complaints after 31 October 2018.
All Australian financial services licensees and credit licensees with retail clients have an obligation to become a member of AFCA by 21 September 2018. Existing members of FOS or CIO must also retain their existing memberships until further notice.
AFCA will soon seek public comments on the new AFCA Rules and interim funding model. Which will then need to be approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
In a recent speech on building trust, Australian Securities and Investments Commission Chair, James Shipton, identified 6 key characteristics that financial service providers, including FinTech companies, should have to ensure that the Australian financial system is efficient, resilient and fair. Those characteristics are:
- Financial products that the FinTech company provides do what they say they will and don’t take advantage of consumer biases or lack of knowledge about the product.
- Consumers’ interests are prioritised and put before the FinTech company’s.
- The FinTech company acts with integrity and fairness, not just in compliance with the law but also taking into account community expectations and standards.
- Mistakes and misconduct are quickly identified, reported and rectified.
- Open engagement and cooperation with regulators not only about problems but also in relation to business challenges and risks.
- Being innovative and using technology to improve products and services to deliver better outcomes for consumers. Although by their very nature FinTech companies are innovative and use technology, an effort should be made to constantly improve outcomes for consumers and not adopt a ‘set and forget’ mindset.
How many of these characteristics do you demonstrate?
By Cameron Abbott and Sarah Goegan
Technology company IOT Group announced this week that it has signed an Australian first energy and blockchain deal. In the agreement with Hunter Energy, IOT Blockchain will build a blockchain centre at the Redbank coal-fired power station in the Hunter Valley, two hours north of Sydney.