ASIC overview December – March 2012

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ASIC’s enforcement policy:

On 20 February 2012, ASIC released policy documents on how it will undertake investigations and enforcement activity: see ASIC releases policy on enforcement and investigations

Consumer information/alerts:

Advertising/disclosure:

  • On 24 January 2012, ASIC released new disclosure benchmarks and principles for infrastructure entities to improve investor awareness of the risks associated with investing in these products: see ASIC improves disclosure by infrastructure entities
  • On 30 January 2012, ASIC released an investor guide and regulatory guidance with new disclosure benchmarks and principles for agribusiness managed investment schemes to improve investor awareness of the risks associated with these products: see ASIC releases investor guide and disclosure guidance for agribusiness schemes
  • On 14 February 2012, ASIC released guidance to help promoters comply with their legal obligations when advertising financial products and services.RG 234 Advertising financial products and advice services: Good practice guidance (RG 234) builds on ASIC’s focus to promote confident and informed investors and financial consumers: see ASIC releases guidance on advertising
  • On 23 February 2012, ASIC released for consultation draft regulatory guidance with new disclosure benchmarks and principles for hedge funds to improve investor awareness of the risks associated with these products. Comments on the consultation paper are due by 19 April 2012: see ASIC releases draft disclosure guidance for hedge funds

New subscribers to the e-payments code:

Financial advisers:

Financial counsellors:

On 15 December 2011, ASIC released its conditional class order, granting relief to financial counsellors and money management services providers from having to hold a credit or AFS licence: see ASIC grants exemptions for rural financial counselling and money management service providers

Corporate governance/shareholders/market supervision:

  • On 21 December 2011, ASIC announced the results of its review of financial reports for the year ended 30 June 2011 and ASIC’s areas of focus: see Improved financial information for investors and others
  • On 7 February 2012, ASIC released its 3rd report on the supervision of Australian financial markets and market participants: see ASIC releases third market supervision report
  • On 16 February 2012, ASIC outlined the circumstances under which relief will be given to investment funds from the prohibition against indirect self-acquisitions (i.e. where shares in a company are issued or transferred to an entity it controls) in new Regulatory Guide 233 Indirect self-acquisition: Relief for investment funds: see ASIC releases policy on indirect self-acquisitions
  • On 29 February 2012, ASIC called on companies to improve the disclosure of their remuneration arrangements for directors and executives. This followed a review of 50 remuneration reports – drawn from 300 of Australia’s biggest companies – for the year ended 30 June 2011: see ASIC calls for better executive remuneration disclosure (media release includes an attachment

Deposit takers and credit:

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