In May 2020, the Division of Investment Management Staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission published a Statement withdrawing a November 2010 letter issued to Boulder Total Return Fund, relating to the Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act (MCSAA), which had long been an impediment to closed-end funds opting in to state statutes that permit corporations to restrict certain stockholders’ ability to vote “control shares” (shares of a corporation which, when aggregated with all shares of such corporation owned by an acquiring person, exceed certain ownership thresholds). Following the May 2020 Staff Statement, a number of closed-end funds opted in to state control share statutes or adopted by-law provisions with similar impact. Further developments since then include:Read More
The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) promulgated two sets of guidelines in relation to bond issuance on 20 June 2023, namely “Guiding Opinions on Deepening the Reform of Bond Registration System” and “Guiding Opinions on Raising the Quality of Bond Business Practice by Intermediaries under the Registration System” (collectively, the Guidelines).Read More
On 27 June 2023, the Australian Treasury released a further consultation paper (consultation period open until 21 July 2023) on the introduction of a mandatory climate disclosure framework in Australia.
Under a phased-in approach, by 2027-28, all entities required to lodge financial reports will be subject to the disclosure framework. Larger entities fulfilling two of three criteria (consolidated revenue of AUD$500 million or more, consolidated gross assets of AUD$1 billion or more and 500 or more employees) will be required to lodge reports first, from 2024-25 with smaller entities which satisfy two of three criteria (consolidated revenue of AUD$50 million or more, consolidated gross assets of AUD$25 million or more, and 100 or more employees) having an extra two years to comply.Read More
By Jim Bulling and Grace Hall
The Chair of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Joe Longo, commented on three key ESG focus areas of the regulator in recent speeches.
In addition to governance, greenwashing and growth in sustainable financing, the Chair discussed the phenomenon of “greenhushing”, where companies decline to make any voluntary climate-related disclosures.Read More
By Robert Lloyd and Philip Morgan
On 27 June 2023, the UK and the EU Commission entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on regulatory cooperation in financial services triggered, it seems, by the agreement of revised arrangements on Northern Ireland. You could be forgiven for thinking that the MoU was agreed a long time ago – accordingly to a nonbinding joint declaration between the EU and the UK, the targeted date was 31 March 2021. At the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020 few people would have expected that it would take the best part of two and a half years to reach this modest objective.Read More
By Jim Bulling and Grace Hall
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has published its Systemic Issues Insights Report for the first half of the 2022-2023 financial year.
In the first half of the 2022-2023 financial year AFCA identified the most systemic issues in the banking sector, followed by general insurance, superannuation, investments and advice and then life insurance sectors.Read More
Amid global calls for tailored regulation of artificial intelligence tools, the Australia Federal Government has released a discussion paper on the safe and responsible use of AI. The Government is consulting on what safeguards are needed to ensure Australia has an appropriate regulatory and governance framework.Read More
On 24 May 2023, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the settlement of charges against Sciens Investment Management, LLC and Sciens Diversified Managers, LLC (collectively, Sciens) related to the valuation of certain private fund portfolio investments (Order). The SEC cited the often-used violations of Section 206(4) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Rule 206(4)-7, finding that Sciens failed to implement adequate policies and procedures to properly value certain private fund investments.Read More
In a stunning move, over the last two days, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed back-to-back enforcement actions against major crypto exchanges Binance (See here) and Coinbase (See here). This clearly indicates that the SEC is flexing its enforcement power over both international exchanges as well as those exchanges with a focus on the United States. Please visit the K&L Gates Fintech and Blockchain Law Watch to see commentary about these developments from our Digital Assets team.
Thousands of advertisements for cryptoasset-related products were displayed on London public transport, including the underground network, in 2021. There has been a drop-off since the Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”) issued standards for crypto adverts. Nonetheless, in 2022 there were reportedly adverts for 24 crypto products on London public transport. Now, however, legislation seems likely to end much of this public advertisement of crypto in the UK.Read More