Regulatory favourites October 2023

By Categories: RegulationPublished On: 13 October 2023

With spring now in full swing, here is our latest round-up of the plays regulators have been following.

ASIC asks insurers to mind their Peas and Qs

ASIC Deputy Chair Karen Chester has called on insurers to get their strategies for pricing promises, product design and distribution, and handling claims right.

Referencing the classic tale The Princess and the Pea, she said meeting these basics was an important prerequisite for insurers seeking to explore innovative and intelligent technologies in the course of addressing structural challenges facing the sector.

Speaking at the Insurance Council of Australia Annual Conference, Chester said boards have an essential role to play in taking whole of business accountability for their company’s approach to delivering insurance basics.

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APRA and ASIC commence joint administration of FAR

APRA and ASIC have published an information package to support the financial services industry in implementing the Financial Accountability Regime (FAR). The information package comprises:

  • The Joint Administration Agreement between APRA and ASIC setting out the framework within which the regulators will work together to administer the FAR; and
  • A joint information paper providing guidance for ADIs on transitioning from the BEAR to the FAR, supported by ADI accountability statement guidance and template.

The regulators looked forward to FAR sharpening risk culture and governance and increasing transparency and accountability when it comes into force for banking on 15 March 2024 and for superannuation and insurance sectors on 15 March 2025.

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OAIC eyes privacy reforms

The OAIC has welcomed the Australian Government’s response to review of the Privacy Act as a crucial step in ensuring Australia’s privacy framework is strengthened for the future. Among other measures, the reforms will enhance requirements in relation to the security of personal information and its destruction when it is no longer needed.

Australian Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk noted that with increasing use of high impact technologies, it was critical for privacy reforms to proceed alongside complementary key initiatives, such as the Australian Cyber Security Strategy and Digital ID framework.

The OAIC’s Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey found 89% of Australians would like to see government pass more legislation that better protects their personal information.

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Legislating the objective of superannuation

Treasury recently conducted consultation on a draft Bill to legislate the objective of superannuation – an initiative successive governments have attempted since it was recommended by the Financial System Inquiry.

The proposed objective of superannuation is: ‘To preserve savings to deliver income for a dignified retirement, alongside government support, in an equitable and sustainable way.’ It affirms superannuation trustees’ role in the super system, including to support members holistically both during their working life and through their transition to retirement.

Once implemented, policy makers will be required to assess that proposed changes to super legislation are compatible with the objective.

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