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Asia Pacific Regulatory Developments Newsletter, Volume 1, 2020

In the wake of the global outbreak of COVID-19, local authorities across Asia Pacific have reprioritised their attention to focus on consumer protection and to ensure the smooth functioning of the markets.

By Tricia O’Donovan, Senior Consultant, Regulatory Solutions
and James Crane, Senior Product Manager, Australia

APAC Regulatory Developments Newsletter Vol 1 2020

In Australia, APRA and ASIC announced their intentions to suspend a number of their policy and regulatory initiatives. They plan to reprioritise their focus on responding to the impact of the pandemic on the entities they regulate and on consumers.

Both regulators anticipate that this approach will remain in place until at least 30th September 2020, with APRA focusing on the monitoring of the “financial and operational capacity of regulated institutions”. ASIC meanwhile, announced its’ intention to focus on investigation into instances of significant consumer harm, serious breaches of the law and in prioritising its’ enforcement activities.

In Singapore, MAS announced the adjustment of several regulatory and supervisory programmes to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic priorities, including measures related to the conduct of general meetings and related documentation which are expected to last until 30th September 2020. MAS also launched a support package to sustain and strengthen capabilities within financial institution and FinTech firms to build strength for when the economic downturn has abated.

In Hong Kong, HKMA unveiled a number of adjustments to regulatory requirements including the deferral of implementation of Basel III and reduction of countercyclical buffers. Measures for liquidity management to support the local economy during the economic downturn have also been put in place.

Aside from COVID-19, the core trends and focus of regulators remains the same i.e., transparency, accountability, outsourcing oversight and an increased focus on all things ESG. It is those trends, plus action around money laundering and the world’s increasingly aging population that we are still expecting most new regulation to focus on.

Whether change is initiated locally or not, the level of regulation that must be adhered to continues to require vigilant monitoring. Northern Trust dedicates significant time to tracking and analysing the implications of regulatory change; if you would like to discuss any of the items in this newsletter in more detail please do not hesitate to contact us.

Read our newsletter to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on the Regulatory landscape across APAC.

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