This overview sets out some of the key changes to the corporations law during 2016 and 2017. For a more in depth analysis, order your copy of Australian Corporations & Securities Legislation – 2 Volume Set, available the 6th of February.
Insolvency law reform
Significant amendments will be made to the Corporations Act 2001 during 2017 by the Insolvency Law Reform Act 2016 (ILRA).
The ILRA became law on 29 February 2016 but has not yet commenced. Some parts commence on 1 March 2017 and the remainder, containing much of the detail, on 1 September 2017.
The ILRA moves many of the process provisions of Ch 5 of the Corporations Act into a schedule (new Schedule 2). It also makes remedial amendments to certain provisions in the Corporations Act – to Pt 5.3A, to the definition of the “relation-back day” and to other sections.
The amendments made by the ILRA have been included as editorial notes to the relevant provisions of the Corporations Act in the 2017 edition of Australian Corporations & Securities Legislation, Volume 1.
The new Schedule 2 to the Corporations Act introduced by the ILRA is supplemented by the Insolvency Practice Rules (Corporations) 2016 (Rules).
The Rules were registered on 19 December 2016. Parts 1 and 2 commence on 1 March 2017 and include rules about registering and disciplining practitioners. Part 3 commences on 1 September 2017 and includes rules about remuneration, information and reports, meetings, committees of inspection, and review.
The Rules are reproduced in the 2017 edition of Australian Corporations & Securities Legislation, Volume 1.
Other amendments to the Corporations Act during 2016 were:
- Corporations Amendment (Financial Advice Measures) Act 2016, effective 19 March 2016
This legislation was first introduced in the Corporations Amendment (Streamlining of Future of Financial Advice) Bill in March 2014. It is the final part of the Government’s package of measures to reduce the compliance costs and regulatory burden of the original Future of Financial Advice reforms, which became mandatory from 1 July 2013.
- Corporations Amendment (Auditor Registration) Act 2016, effective 24 September 2016
This legislation addresses the legal consequences arising from ASIC’s approval in November 2004 of an auditing competency standard produced by CPA Australia and the Institute of Chartered Accountants. It ensures the validity of the registration of auditors on the basis of the standard.
These amendments have been consolidated in the 2017 edition of Australian Corporations & Securities Legislation, Vol. 1.
ASIC Regulatory Guides and Legislative Instruments
ASIC issued a number of new regulatory guides and updated many more during 2016. The new regulatory guides include:
- RG 257: Testing fintech products and services without holding an AFS or credit licence
- RG 256: Client review and remediation conducted by advice licensees
- RG 255: Providing digital financial product advice to retail clients
- RG 254: Offering securities under a disclosure document
RG 254 consolidates and updates seven regulatory guides on fundraising into one new regulatory guide. ASIC also updated five other related regulatory guides on fundraising and reissued 26 “sunsetting” class orders relating to Ch 6D in 13 new legislative instruments.
ASIC issued over 60 new legislative instruments under the Corporations Act during 2016, many due to the “sunsetting” of existing class orders.
The Australian Corporations & Securities Legislation, Volume 1 includes cross-references from sections of the Corporations Act to relevant regulatory guides, legislative instruments and class orders. The cross-references in the 2017 edition have been updated to reflect the changes to regulatory guides, legislative instruments and class orders during 2016.
To keep up to date with recent legislative changes and more, order your copy of the 2017 edition of Australian Corporations & Securities Legislation – 2 Volume Set today!