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Bill Fuggle

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Bill Fuggle is a partner in the Sydney office of Baker McKenzie where he is a leading adviser in innovative listed investment products, fintech and neobanks, financial services regulatory advice, fund formation and capital markets.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has been strict in monitoring compliance with the new product design and distribution obligations (DDO), which were introduced on 5 October 2021. Under these DDO obligations, issuers are required to design financial products to meet consumer needs and distribute their products in a clearly-defined, targeted manner. To date, seventeen DDO interim stop orders have been issued by ASIC. Nine interim stop orders have been lifted after ASIC’s concerns were addressed by the entities or where the products were withdrawn, and six remain in place.

On 21 November 2022, the Treasury put out a call for submissions to assist with developing the Federal Government’s regulatory framework for buy now, pay later (BNPL) arrangements. The released options paper seeks to address the purported lack of oversight of the BNPL industry which has so far not been regulated in the same way as other forms of consumer credit under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009. Pending stakeholder review, the paper seeks to strengthen the regulatory framework surrounding BNPL products and depending on the option adopted, may see them subject to the same regulations as credit cards or loan facilities.

The speed and volume of change in the crypto asset markets has accelerated across the globe, with established financial institutions increasingly entering the sector whilst regulators look to keep pace. Recent high-profile developments and market volatility have led to growing calls for scrutiny and regulatory controls. Navigating this fast paced environment, within a sometimes disjointed regulatory framework, can be challenging. The Crypto Boot Camp 2022 Series covers the crypto ecosystem and integrating crypto into established financial systems (recordings available), crypto risk (3 November 2022), NFTs (15 November 2022), DeFi (1 December 2022), and Growth in Crypto (6 December 2022).

The speed and volume of change in the crypto asset markets has accelerated across the globe, with established financial institutions increasingly entering the sector whilst regulators look to keep pace. Recent high-profile developments and market volatility have led to growing calls for scrutiny and regulatory controls. Navigating this fast paced environment, within a sometimes disjointed regulatory framework, can be challenging.
This virtual seminar series will provide insights on how the regulatory landscape is changing and discuss the future of crypto within the financial services sector. Set out below are details of our 2022 series.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has, again, extended the transitional relief period for Foreign Financial Services Providers for a further 12 months to 31 March 2024, through the introduction of the ASIC Corporations (Amendment) Instrument 2022/623 on 28 July 2022. ASIC has stated the Amendment Instrument was introduced to provide certainty for the industry given the lapsing of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Streamlining and Improving Economic Outcomes for Australians) Bill 2022.

On 2 June 2022, ASIC published the updated ePayments Code which it states will strengthen and clarify a number of existing protections for consumers relating to various forms of electronic payments. The Code has generally been the benchmark for consumer protections for payments and transactions that were triggered within the world of online and mobile banking. It has been an added level of regulation for its subscribers which include most banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia.

On 5 May 2022, in a landmark Australian decision, the Federal Court found that RI Advice had breached its obligations as an Australian financial services licensee to act efficiently, honestly and fairly, as a result of its failure to have in place adequate risk management systems to manage cybersecurity risks. In handing down her judgment, Justice Rofe warned that “cybersecurity risk forms a significant risk connected with the conduct of the business and provision of financial services”. Her Honour noted that the declarations ordered in the matter should deter other AFS licensees from engaging in similar conduct.

This edition of Bite-size Briefings explores the regulation of crypto (or digital) assets across a number of jurisdictions: Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore, the UK and the US.

On 5 May 2022, in a landmark Australian decision, the Federal Court found that RI Advice had breached its obligations as an Australian financial services (AFS) licensee to act efficiently, honestly and fairly, as a result of its failure to have in place adequate risk management systems to manage cybersecurity risks.