Super Alert – 31 March 2023: crypto currency regulation Bill; AFCA – Rules & Operational Guidelines; IDPS class orders


Posted By and on 31/03/23 at 11:59 AM

Welcome to the latest issue of the KHQ Super Alert. This week, Parliament referred a crypto currency regulation Bill to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee and AFCA began consultation on proposed amendments to its Rules and Operational Guidelines.

Parliament – Bill to regulate digital assets (crypto currencies) 

On 29 March 2023, the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023 was introduced to the Senate and on 30 March 2023 it was referred to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee (SELC) for review and report. According to the Explanatory Memorandum, this Bill implements two of the twelve recommendations from the final report of the 2021 Senate Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre and ‘addresses the need to regulate central bank digital currencies in Australia’.

The Bill proposes to give ASIC powers relating to ‘monitoring and investigation…to enforce the licensee requirements’ and ‘provides for civil and criminal penalties to deter misconduct’.

Importantly, the Bill provides for:

  • ‘digital asset exchange authorisation and requirements’;
  • ‘digital asset custody authorisation and requirements’;
  • ‘stablecoin issuance authorisation and requirements’; and
  • ‘disclosure requirements for facilitators of central bank digital currencies in Australia’.

The SELC report is due by 2 August 2023.

Click here for details.

ASIC – Consultation in relation to IDPS class orders

On 28 March 2023, ASIC issued a media release advising that it was ‘seeking feedback from operators of investor directed portfolio services (IDPS) and responsible entities of IDPS-like schemes’ in relation to remaking certain class orders which are due to sunset on 1 October 2023.
Report 760 acknowledges that trustees have made improvements but notes that they have ‘not made sufficient effort in all areas’ and outlines ‘key actions for all trustees when making improvements to their insurance arrangements’.

The two class orders on which ASIC is seeking industry feedback are:

  • Class Order [CO 13/762] Investor directed portfolio services provided through a registered managed investment scheme; and
  • Class Order [CO 13/763] Investor directed portfolio services.

Submissions close on 28 April 2023.

Click here for details.

AFCA – Consultation in relation to amending its Rules and Operational Guidelines

On 27 March 2023, AFCA advised that it was proposing to amend its Rules and Operational Guidelines. The proposed changes address recommendations made in Treasury’s 2021 independent review of AFCA as well as some ‘additional changes’ to ensure AFCA’s ‘Rules and Operational Guidelines remain accurate, up-to-date and provide clearer guidance about AFCA’s jurisdiction and processes’.

Some of the proposed changes include:

  • introducing rules to manage ‘the [inappropriate] conduct of fee Paid Representatives’ (ie, paid agents who represent complainants) to ‘strengthen AFCA’s ability to deliver procedural fairness’;
  • ensuring ‘only unresolved issues in dispute are progressed and that matters do not progress…where appropriate offers of settlement have already been made’; and
  • ‘excluding complaints lodged by professional or sophisticated investors unless exceptions apply’.

The consultation period closes on 22 May 2023.

Click here for details.

Legislation – Extension to sunsetting date for family law superannuation regulations

On 27 March 2023, the Legislation (Deferral of Sunsetting—Family Law Instruments) Amendment Certificate 2023 was registered on the Federal Register of Legislation. The purpose of this legislative instrument is to defer the sunsetting date of several family law related instruments, including the Family Law (Superannuation) Regulations 2001 (Cth). These regulations were due to sunset on 1 April 2024. This legislative instrument extends the sunsetting day to 1 April 2025.

Click here for details.

This alert was written by Kiara Leslie (Lawyer), Sanela Osmanovic (Senior Associate), and Natalie Cambrell (Director).

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KHQ Lawyers - Sanela Osmanovic

Sanela Osmanovic Senior Associate

Sanela is a Senior Associate in our Superannuation & Financial Services team, and has a broad range of experience working with a range of superannuation fund trustees... Read More

KHQ Lawyers - Natalie Cambrell

Natalie Cambrell Director

Natalie leads our Superannuation & Financial Services team. With more than 25 years’ experience, she has an enviable reputation for her in-depth knowledge in these highly regulated and complex... Read More