Review of the Legislative Framework for Corporations and Financial Services Regulation

The Final Report was tabled in Parliament on 18 January 2024
Read the Final Report here.

The ALRC was asked to inquire into the potential simplification of laws that regulate financial services in Australia.

The Inquiry was 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 was not tasked with recommending policy changes regarding the content of obligations on financial service providers. Rather, the inquiry was more technical in nature, and sought to facilitate a more adaptive, efficient, and navigable framework of legislation “within the context of existing policy settings”. The ultimate goal of reform is to promote meaningful compliance with the substance and intent of the law.

The Terms of Reference focused 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 was 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 was published on 30 November 2021;
  • A second interim report focusing on regulatory design and the hierarchy of primary law provisions, regulations, class orders, and standards, was published on September 2022;
  • A third interim report focusing on potential reframing or restructuring of Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act was published on 22 June 2023.

The ALRC’s work complements the ongoing work of the Department of Treasury (Cth) in seeking to simplify relevant legislation.

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