Continuing the overview of Corporations Law Changes in 2017/18: Insolvency Law Reform, Safe Harbour, Crowd-sourced Funding, below are highlights of other key amendments.
These are insights direct from our Corporations Law and PPSA Collection 2018.
Other Key Amendments
- Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No 3) Act 2017, which amended the ASIC Act and the Corporations Act effective 15 July 2001 to validate certain agreements to employ or engage ASIC staff that were purportedly made before the end of 9 March 2017.
- Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Act 2017, which amended the Corporations Act effective 15 March 2017 to raise the education, training and ethical standards of financial advisers by requiring financial advisers providing personal advice to retail clients on more complex financial products to hold a degree (or higher or equivalent) qualification, undertake a professional year, pass an exam, undertake continuous professional development and comply with a code of ethics.
- Treasury Laws Amendment (2016 Measures No 1) Act 2017, which amended the Corporations Act effective 5 April 2017 so that employee share scheme disclosure documents lodged with ASIC are not made publicly available for certain start-up companies.
- Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No 2) Act 2017 effective 22 June 2017, which:
- amended the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and Corporations Act so that a single approval will cover a profit or advantage received by an external administrator or trustee even when the benefit is passed on to multiple related entities, and
- amended the Corporations Act to ensure that annual and end-of-control returns by controllers are included on ASIC’s public register and make some minor technical corrections required as a result of amendments in the ILRA.
- ASIC Supervisory Cost Recovery Levy (Consequential Amendments) Act 2017, which made amendments to the Corporations Act effective 1 July 2017 necessary for the introduction of an industry funding model for ASIC.
- Corporations Amendment (Life Insurance Remuneration Arrangements) Act 2017, which amended the Corporations Act effective 1 January 2018 by:
- removing the exemption from the conflicted remuneration ban on benefits paid in relation to certain life insurance products
- enabling the regulations to prescribe circumstances in which benefits paid in relation to life insurance are conflicted remuneration, and
- giving ASIC the power to specify, by instrument, the criteria that must be satisfied for certain life insurance products to be exempt from the ban on conflicted remuneration.
These amendments have been consolidated in the 2018 edition of Australian Corporations & Securities Legislation.
ASIC Regulatory Guides and Legislative Instruments
ASIC issued a number of new regulatory guides, and updated many more, during 2017. The new regulatory guides include:
- RG 264 Sell-side research
- RG 263 Financial Services and Credit Panel
- RG 262 Crowd-sourced funding: Guide for intermediaries
- RG 261 Crowd-sourced funding: Guide for public companies
- RG 260 Communicating findings from audit files to directors, audit committees or senior managers
- RG 259 Risk management systems of responsible entities, and
- RG 258 Registered liquidators: Registration, disciplinary actions and insurance requirements.
ASIC also issued over 60 legislative instruments under the Corporations Act during 2017.
The 2018 edition of Australian Corporations & Securities Legislation includes cross-references from sections of the Corporations Act to relevant regulatory guides and legislative instruments. The cross-references in the 2018 edition have been updated to reflect the changes to regulatory guides and legislative instruments during 2017.
Refer to our Corporations Law and PPSA Collection 2018 for more comprehensive guidance and insights.