Japan

FSA establishes a Payments Council on Financial Innovation. The FSA has established a “Payments Council on Financial Innovation,” which aims to deliver payment system reform and payment service innovation. (6/6/2016)

FSA publishes overview of major banks’ financial results. The Financial Services Agency has published its overview of major banks’ financial results and overview of regional banks’ financial results as of March 31st. (6/3/2016) 

Hong Kong

SFC signs MoU with FINRA to enhance supervision and oversight of cross-border regulated entities. The SFC entered into an MoU with FINRA to improve the supervision and oversight of regulated entities that operate on a cross-border basis in Hong Kong and in the US. (5/20/2016)

Singapore

MAS proposes a regulatory sandbox for FinTech experiments. The MAS announced its release of a consultation paper on proposed guidelines for a “regulatory sandbox” that will enable financial institutions and non-financial players to experiment with FinTech solutions. All comments on the proposed guidelines should be submitted to MAS by July 8th. (6/6/2016)

MAS announces re-appointments to its board of directors. The MAS announced the re-appointment of four members of its board, which took effect on June 1st. (5/30/2016)

MAS makes it easier for retail investors to purchase corporate bonds. The Monetary Authority of Singapore introduced two new regulations to facilitate corporate bond offerings to retail investors: the Bond Seasoning Framework, under which wholesale bonds issued by issuers that meet eligibility criteria stipulated by the SGX can be offered to retail investors after the bonds have been listed on SGX for six months, and the Exempt Bond Issuer Framework, under which issuers that satisfy specified thresholds that are higher than the eligibility criteria under the Bond Seasoning Framework can offer bonds directly to retail investors at the start of an offer without a prospectus. (5/19/2016)

Australia

Accountants must hold a limited AFS license or be an authorized representative of a license-holder or licensee. ASIC warned that, beginning on July 1st, accountants must hold a limited Australian financial services license or be an authorized representative of a license-holder or licensee in order to provide financial product advice on self-managed superannuation funds. This follows the three-year transition period that started on July 1, 2013. (6/7/2016)

ASIC eases transition for responsible entities to implement new tax system for managed investment trusts. ASIC granted relief to assist responsible entities of registered schemes by allowing them to make changes to their constitutions without automatically holding a members’ meeting. The relief will help responsible entities smoothly implement the new tax system for managed investment trusts if they choose to do so. ASIC is drafting an instrument to give effect to this relief and intends to release it on or before June 22nd. (6/2/2016) ASIC press release.

ASIC requests that directors apply realism and clarity to financial reports. ASIC announced that it expects companies to adopt realistic valuations for asset values, appropriate accounting policies and better communication of that information in the lead-up to the end of financial year reporting season. Announcing its focus areas for June 30th financial reports of listed entities and other entities of public interest with many stakeholders, ASIC highlighted key problem areas to address. (6/2/2016) ASIC press release.