The ALRC has been asked to inquire into the potential simplification of laws that regulate financial services in Australia.
The Inquiry is part of the Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry released in February 2019. The ALRC is not tasked with recommending policy changes regarding the content of obligations on financial service providers. Rather, the inquiry is more technical in nature, and seeks to facilitate a more adaptive, efficient, and navigable framework of legislation “within the context of existing policy settings”. The ultimate goal is to achieve meaningful compliance with the substance and intent of the law.
The Terms of Reference focus on the provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and the Corporations Regulations 2001 (Cth) while also referring to other financial services legislation, and legislative instruments. Three sub-topics are specifically outlined, each of which is to be the subject of an interim report by the ALRC, prior to release of the consolidated Final Report:
- A first interim report focusing on the appropriate use of definitions in corporations and financial services legislation is due by 30 November 2021;
- A second interim report focusing on regulatory design and the hierarchy of primary law provisions, regulations, class orders, and standards, is due by 30 September 2022;
- A third interim report focusing on potential reframing or restructuring of Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act is due by 25 August 2023;
- A consolidated final report is due by 30 November 2023.
The ALRC’s work will complement the ongoing work of the Department of Treasury (Cth) in seeking to simplify relevant legislation.
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