Tougher ASIC to challenge financial services product development in 2015: Hall & Wilcox

A tougher ASIC will require financial services firms to think harder about their products and compliance systems during 2015, according to leading independent law firm Hall & Wilcox.

Harry New, a Partner at Hall & Wilcox, said the regulator is looking to intervene and make examples where they can. “Financial services firms need to be aware that ASIC is becoming less reactive and more proactive.

“On the product side in particular the regulator is becoming more interventionist and looking for the low hanging fruit.

“Financial services needs to get on the front foot to ensure their products, compliance system and culture is able to meet that increased scrutiny.”

Mr New said the tougher response was inevitable following high profile inquiries and reports into ASIC’s performance, CBA Financial Planning, the life insurance industry and agribusiness investment schemes during 2014.

Some reports suggest the government is considering giving ‘product intervention powers’ to ASIC, which may allow it to remove or ban financial products, change marketing documents, add consumer warnings, change labelling or terminology and impose distribution restrictions (“ASIC may get power to ban”, Australian Financial Review, 2 February 2015).

He said that market integrity is paramount but there needs to be a balance between reasonable regulation and the ability for the free market to innovate. “If there is too much power to intervene into product design, it may stifle innovation and increase compliance costs.”


Emma Woolley

Partner & Head of Family Office Advisory

Karl Rozenbergs

Partner and Co-Lead Health & Care

Ben Hamilton

Partner & Technology and Digital Economy Co-Lead

James Deady

Partner & Technology and Digital Economy Co-Lead

Eugene Chen

Partner & Head of China Practice

Oliver Jankowsky

Partner & Head of International Practice

John Bassilios

Partner & Fintech and Blockchain Lead

Matthew Curll

Partner & Insurance National Practice Leader

Melanie Smith

Director – Business Development, Marketing and Communications

Natalie Bannister

Partner & Commercial National Practice Leader

Nathan Kennedy

Partner, Head of Pro Bono & Community and ESG Co-Lead

William Moore

Partner & Head of Private Clients Advisory

Mark Dessi

Partner & Energy Leader

James Bull

Special Counsel & Frank Lab Co-Lead

Melanie James

People & Culture Manager

Jacqui Barrett

Partner & Head of US Desk

Lauren Parrant

Senior People & Culture Advisor

Melinda Woledge

Marketing & Communications Manager

Jasmine Koh

Senior Associate & Frank Lab Co-Lead

Alison Choy Flannigan

Partner and Co-Lead Health & Care

Jordon Lee


Geoff Benson


Meg Lee

Partner & ESG Co-Lead

John Gray

Partner, Technology & Digital Economy Co-Lead and NSW Government Co-Lead

Harvey Duckett


Luke Denham


Billie Kerkez

Manager – Smarter Recovery Solutions

Jemima Whiteman


Bradley White


Sarah Khan


Audrey Leahy

Special Counsel & Head of Irish Desk

Nicole Tumiati

Partner & Retail & Consumer Goods Leader

Marie Mitilineos


Gloria Tam


Peter Jones

Senior Commercial Counsel

Eden Winokur

Partner & Head of Cyber

Jennifer Degotardi

Partner & NSW Government Co-Lead

Sheldon Fu


Claire Bourke


Silvana Brcina


Daphne Schilizzi


Andrew Banks


Isabella Urso


Jessica Liu


Amelia Spratt


Lisa Ziegert

Director – Client Solutions

Luke Raams


Emma McDonald


Carl Ayers


Maddison Reznik

Senior Associate & Trade Marks Attorney

Rebecca Dodd


Ruby Hunt

Pro Bono & Community Co-ordinator

Rachel Bonic


Samantha Frost


Emma Bechaz


Matt Dolan


Luke Hefferan


Michelle Harradine


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