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Westpac and ASIC back in the ring following rejected settlement - May 2019

Following Justice Perram’s rejection of the $35 million agreed settlement between Westpac and ASIC last year, the parties have returned to court to determine whether Westpac has breached the responsible lending laws.

Partner, Andrea Beatty and Lawyer, Chelsea Payne discuss the submissions of the parties in the first few days of the hearing.

Fair Work Commission’s surprising interpretation of the Australian Privacy Principles - May 2019

A recent Fair Work Commission Case has provided interesting interpretation on the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles.

Partner, Andrea Beatty and Lawyer, Chelsea Payne discuss the outcome of the case.

One of the world’s largest crypto exchanges hacked for 7,000 Bitcoins - May 2019

One of the world’s largest global cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance, revealed this month that hackers had withdrawn over 7,000 Bitcoin in one transaction.

Lawyers Louisa Xu and Chelsea Payne detail what Binance has revealed of the hack.

Significantly higher penalties for corporate misconduct in effect - Apr 2019

Recently passed legislation significantly increased the penalties applicable to wrongdoing in relation to consumer credit, financial services and general insurance. On the whole, penalties are increased and new methods of determining penalties are introduced. Partner, Andrea Beatty, provides and overview of the new penalties.

Design and distribution obligations and product intervention power finally legislated - Apr 2019

Legislation for the long awaited financial product design and distribution obligations and ASIC product intervention power has finally been passed by the federal Parliament. Partner, Andrea Beatty, and lawyer, Gabor Papdi, provide an overview of the new legislation.

Draft legislation to end grandfathered conflicted remuneration for financial advisers - Apr 2019

Recommendation 2.4 of the Royal Commission in Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (Royal Commission) provided that the grandfathering arrangements for conflicted remuneration in relation to financial advice provided to retail clients to be removed as soon as practicable. Conflicted remuneration was prohibited by amendments to the Corporations Act that commenced on 1 July 2013, but pre-existing arrangements were allowed to continue in place. The Royal Commission found that conflicted remuneration did not die off as pre-2013 arrangements came to an end, and so recommended law reform to end such grandfathered arrangements as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Government announces increased penalties for Privacy Act breaches - Apr 2019

On 24 March 2019, the Commonwealth Attorney-General and the Minister for Communications and the Arts announced the federal government’s intention to legislate to strengthen penalties under the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) and other reforms to target major social media companies’ conduct in relation to personal information.

Small amount credit contract and consumer lease reforms likely to again die - Apr 2019

With the final sitting days of the federal Parliament before the upcoming election likely to have occurred, the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Small Amount Credit Contract and Consumer Lease Reforms) Bill 2018 and National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Small Amount Credit Contract and Consumer Lease Reforms) Bill 2019 – both substantially identical Private Member’s Bills introducing long-discussed consumer-friendly changes to the provisions of the NCCP Act governing small amount credit contracts and consumer leases – have not been passed into law. At the time of writing, the Bills had not progressed past the first reading stage in the House of Representatives, and will lapse when the House is dissolved in anticipation of the upcoming election. It will then be up to members of the next Parliament to reintroduce the Bills if they wish to.

Proposal to allow AFCA to look further back in time - Apr 2019

Have you got a whistleblower policy in place? - Apr 2019

Deadline: 1 July 2019

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Act 2019 has been passed by the Commonwealth Parliament. The previous issue of this newsletter contained an article setting out its provisions in more detail, but one of the key obligations under it, for public and large proprietary companies, is the need to have in place a whistleblower policy that sets out information about:

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