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Unfair Contract Terms – FICA Submission

1 October 2021

While individual FICA members have provided their own detailed submissions, and these highlight several specific issues relevant to their membership, the purpose of this submission is to outline the key areas of common agreement between FICA members and suggested next steps. Topics covered include: - Introduction of civil penalties - Flexible remedies – Rebuttable presumption - Flexible remedies - Injunctions - Existing remedies available under the UCT regime - Definition of Small Business and Monetary Value of Contracts - Transitional provisions

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Improving Schemes of Arrangement

22 September 2021

The ABA suggests that in finalising the proposal an updated analysis of the existing Scheme regime would be of benefit to consider current market practices which may have evolved since the Productivity Commission’s 2015 report ‘Business Set-up, Transfer and Closure’.

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Treasury Laws Amendment Bill 2021

10 September 2021

The ABA supports the proposed amendments being considered by Parliament expeditiously to give industry ample time to implement changes to comply with the reforms. As such the ABA strongly supports the proposed bill being finalised and introduced into Parliament as soon as practicable. However, the ABA also asks Treasury to consider making a number of further amendments and clarifying a small number of matters in the Bill. Doing so would enhance the effectiveness and benefit of the Bill for industry.

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Reporting Standard ARS 720.1

8 September 2021

We request that the new ARS 720.1 come into effect on 1 March 2022 so that both ARF 220.0 and ARF 720.1 will be first prepared on the new standards consistently for the period ended 31 March 2022.

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Draft AML/CTF Rules Consultation – Chapter 79,80,21 and 48

3 September 2021

The ABA supports recently enacted legislative changes to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) that require reporting entities to verify their customers’ identity before providing designated services. The ABA also supports the provision for special circumstances that justify carrying out applicable customer identification procedures (ACIP) after the commencement of a designated service. While generally in support of this Chapter, the ABA seeks additional clarity over the scope of the proposed special circumstances, particularly in relation to opening an account and the initial deposit. We also support broader changes proposed to Chapters 21 and 48 of the rules. The submission puts forward a proposal regarding Chapter 80 on the basis that there may be unintended consequences with the current drafting, such as exempting a broader range of activities.

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LIBOR Discussion Paper – AFMA/ABA/FSC Submission

1 September 2021

At a high-level, AFMA, ABA and the FSC would support the ATO outlining a practical approach to the taxation consequences on IBOR-transition which leverages existing processes being undertaken by affected taxpayers and categorises the various affected contracts from a risk perspective. This would ensure that compliance resources are appropriately allocated. The approach adopted in PCG 2017/8 regarding internal derivatives would be an appropriate precedent for such an approach.

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Electronic Mortgages in WA

31 August 2021

Electronic signatures can mitigate fraud risk by implementing multi-layers and factors of security and authentication, and the technology can generate an auditable electronic record, tamper proof seal, and use multiple ways to authenticate the signatory's identity. Most mortgages are not created pursuant to deeds. As such consideration of reforms in Western Australia should distinguish between the reforms that are necessary to enable electronic mortgages including the counterpart mortgage, and the reforms that need to be made to enable electronic deeds. The ABA strongly supports reforms to enable electronic deeds and not requiring most types of deeds to be witnessed.

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Australia’s cyber security regulations and incentives

27 August 2021

The ABA sees an important role for government in coordinating messaging and cyber security uplift efforts across stakeholder groups and sectors, and setting clear expectations of what entities should do to protect themselves and their customers. The ABA acknowledges that there is a difficult but important balance to be struck between, on the one hand, economy wide, consistent cyber security regulatory requirements that improve the nation’s cyber risk position and, on the other hand, more specific or targeted measures which need to respond to specific risks and/or levels of risk. Further clarity will also be required for entities that may be indirectly subject to SOCI Act requirements, and for entities that may move in and out of the SOCI Act regime. The ABA seeks further information about the legal form that the governance standards would take and what legal standing (if any) the standards would have. The ABA asks for clarity on the interaction between the proposed standards and other regulatory regimes.

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Bank Capital Reforms: Update

20 August 2021

We support a revised capital framework that strengthens the financial resilience of the industry, embeds unquestionably strong levels of capital and also provides for greater flexibility in periods of stress. We recommend that APRA: • replace the parallel run with targeted quantitative impact surveys (QIS) • delay the implementation of the standardised approach for foundation and advanced internal ratings based (FIRB and AIRB) authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) • reduce the regulatory reporting burden on ADIs for March 2023, and • delay the implementation of new Pillar 3 changes to 2024.

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APRA consultation on zero and negative interest rates

20 August 2021

Given the uncertainties arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic impacts, the ABA understands the importance of ensuring systemic stability and preparedness of members for a range of risks, including a zero or negative cash rate. The ABA considers the timing of the development of solutions by 30 April 2022 may be insufficient given the impact that these solutions would have to ADI core banking systems, processes and potential amendments to product terms and conditions.

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