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4 Mar 2024

Streamlining the Financial Services Legislation

On 18 January 2024 the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) released a report on its review of financial services legislation titled “Confronting Complexity: Reforming Corporations and Financial Services Legislation”. Below is a brief overview of the key developments.

Understanding the landscape

The ALRC highlights the current complexity of financial services legislation and proposes a comprehensive overhaul to enhance consumer protection and simplify compliance for financial service providers.

The report follows on from findings of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry in 2019, which exposed deficiencies of the current legislative framework (described as a “tangled mess” that is difficult to navigate and enforce and costly for entities to comply with).

Three pillars of change

The new framework would consist of three elements:

  1. Financial Services Law: The proposal involves consolidating and relocating Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act and Part 2 of Division 2 of the ASIC Act to a new Schedule 1 to the Corporations Act.
  2. Scoping Order: A single legislative instrument containing exclusions, exemptions and specific inclusions, adjusting the scope of the regulatory regime.
  3. Rulebooks: Thematically consolidated instruments with prescriptive details of the regulatory regime.

Impact on the industry

The recommendations aim to alleviate compliance burdens, reduce costs for both providers and consumers, and ultimately enhance productivity within the financial services sector.

For an in-depth understanding, you can access the full ALRC report here.

DMAW Lawyers will be closely monitoring the unfolding legislative changes. Feel free to contact our expert lawyers for guidance in navigating these shifts.

This article provides general comments only. It does not purport to be legal advice. Before acting on the basis of any material contained in this article, we recommend that you seek professional advice.


Name: Narisse Fechner

Position: Lawyer

Practice: Transactions


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