Regulatory Change and Compliance

MinterEllison’s team has a deep understanding of the regulatory environment for the insurance industry and is actively involved in industry working groups. We manage regulatory issues for domestic and foreign insurers, including obtaining APRA authorisation, seeking a financial service licence and obtaining Australian foreign investment approval.

Our financial services team includes dedicated specialists in the regulation of the industry. Our expertise stems from dealing with complex issues across the sector for major insurance companies, specialist line insurers, reinsurers, brokers and underwriting agents.

We specialise in transactions affecting the ownership and control of insurance companies and distribution channels and their holding companies, with particular expertise in portfolio transfers under Division 3A of the Insurance Act and Part 9 of the Life Insurance Act as well as renewal transfer schemes.

MinterEllison has a strong focus on our clients’ regulatory compliance and change management issues. We are unique in our delivery of practical tools to help our clients manage their regulatory burdens through the development of licensing toolkits, the widely used Disclosure Toolkits and our specialised publications such as Integrated FSR.

Our team maintains a close connection with regulatory developments affecting the industry and is recognised as a leading contributor on many areas of reform through active participation in industry working groups, making submissions on key areas of concern to the Government and regular dealings with APRA, ASIC, Treasury, FIRB and other regulators.

23 May 2013

On 9 May 2013 the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority released draft Prudential Standard CPS 220 – Risk Management, draft updated Prudential Standard CPS 510 – Governance and accompanying Discussion Paper – Harmonising Cross-Industry Risk Management Requirements, for public consultation. The standards affect ADIs and life and general insurers. APRA has proposed the cross-industry standards as part of its broader harmonisation and consolidation process, which has already seen the implementation of harmonised prudential standards on outsourcing, business continuity management, governance and fitness and propriety. However, in addition to harmonisation, the standards also include significant new risk management governance requirements.

30 August 2012

The Australian Government recently released draft legislation which proposes to restrict the ability of taxpayers to claim refunds of overpaid GST. This will be particularly important for anyone considering undertaking a residential development or selling land under the margin scheme, as it will mean that any overpayment of GST as a result of incorrectly applying the margin scheme will potentially be lost forever (whereas under the current rules, the supplier at least has an opportunity to seek a refund of that overpaid GST).

You should be aware of the risk of incorrectly calculating the margin GST payable on each lot when involved in developments with a residential component. This alert explains the proposed changes.

11 July 2012

Earlier this month, GlaxoSmithKline entered an agreement to settle healthcare fraud claims brought against it in the U.S. for US$3 billion dollars. The settlement was approved by a U.S. District Court on 5 July 2012 and is reported to be the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history. One aspect of the complex case involved off-label advertising.

Recent developments, in both the U.S. and Australia, demonstrate a move to requiring greater transparency in dealings between pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers.

28 May 2012

The Australian Government has released draft regulations under the yet-to-be-passed Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) legislation. The regulations have been released in two tranches, and cover:

  • excluding new clients and new products from grandfathering
  • soft dollar benefits
  • excluding product fees from opt-in.

18 May 2012

The report by Mr Richard St John into compensation arrangements for consumers of financial services, released on 8 May 2012, has recommended the consideration of key reforms which could have a significant impact on the financial sector. We analyse the report and discuss its key recommendations and their implications for licensees, product issuers and consumers.