Japan

FSA publishes “Tax Reform in FY 2016.” The Financial Services Agency (FSA) published “Tax Reform in FY 2016 Key FSA-related Items in the Outline for the FY 2016 Tax Reform.” (4/4/2016)

FSA announces establishment of the Global Financial Partnership Center. The FSA announced that it has established the Global Financial Partnership Center (GLOPAC), as a successor organization of the Asian Financial Partnership Center launched in April 2014. The objectives of the GLOPAC are to address issues related to the global financial markets, conduct financial sector technical assistance for infrastructure development, and further strengthen cooperative relationships with financial authorities around the world. (4/1/2016) FSA press release.

Hong Kong

SFC announces committee appointments. The Securities and Futures Commission announced new appointments and reappointments to 11 of its committees, effective April 1st. (3/31/2016) SFC press release.

Singapore

Distinguished economist Steven Joseph Davis appointed MAS Term Professor at NUS Business School. The National University of Singapore and the Monetary Authority of Singapore jointly appointed Professor Steven Joseph Davis, William H. Abbott Professor of International Business and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, as the MAS Term Professor in Economics and Finance from April 4-May 3, 2016. (4/4/2016) MAS press release.

New FinTech Office Will Be Set Up. The MAS and the National Research Foundation announced that a FinTech Office will be set up on May 3rd to serve as a one-stop virtual entity for all FinTech matters and to promote Singapore as a FinTech hub. (4/1/2016) MAS press release.

Cross-border Renminbi Flows between Singapore and Chongqing. The MAS welcomed the move by the People’s Bank of China Chongqing Operations Office that will allow eligible corporates and individuals in Chongqing to conduct cross-border Renminbi transactions with financial institutions and corporates in Singapore. (3/25/2016) MAS press release.

Australia

ASIC releases market integrity report. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission released its six-monthly report on market integrity focusing on the three areas of deterrence, standards and education, and behavioral change. (4/4/2016) ASIC press release.

ASIC remakes instruments on electronic and dual lodgment of financial reports. ASIC released a revised legislative instrument dealing with dual lodgment and electronic lodgment of directors’ reports, financial reports and auditors’ reports. The instrument, ASIC Corporations (Electronic Lodgment of Financial Reports) Instrument 2016/181, replaces three class orders due to sunset under the Legislation Act 2003 in 2016 and 2017. (4/1/2016) ASIC press release.

ASIC remakes instruments on financial reporting and record keeping by foreign licensees. Following public consultation, ASIC has continued the relief available to foreign companies which are Australian financial services licensees from certain financial reporting and record keeping obligations. ASIC has also continued relief available to foreign licensees which are authorized deposit-taking institutions. The relief is set out in the new legislative instrument, ASIC Corporations (Foreign Licensees and ADIs) Instrument 2016/186. (4/1/2016) ASIC press release.

ASIC facilitates easier electronic disclosure under the ePayments Code. ASIC announced changes to the ePayments Code that will make it easier for businesses to give information to their customers in a digital form. Under the changes, subscribers to the ePayments Code will be able to give information to their customers by making it available electronically and notifying the consumer. This follows similar changes ASIC made last year to the Corporations Act. (3/29/2016)ASIC press release.

ASIC consults on addressing ‘sunsetting’ trustee company common fund class orders. ASIC released a consultation paper proposing to maintain relief previously provided under the Corporations Act 2001 concerning the entities to which client money can be deposited under Section 981B of the Act. The consultation paper also proposes to repeal a class order that ASIC believes is no longer required. Submissions on the consultation paper close on April 27, 2016. (3/24/2016) ASIC press release.

British and Australian financial regulators sign agreement to support innovative businesses. Under a new agreement, innovative financial technology companies in Australia and the UK will have more support from financial regulators as they attempt to enter the others’ market. As a result of the agreement, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and ASIC will refer to the other the innovative businesses seeking to enter the others’ market. The regulators will provide support to innovative businesses before, during and after authorization to help reduce regulatory uncertainty and time to market. (3/23/2016) ASIC press release.

ASIC rolls over seven ‘sunsetting’ payments class orders. ASIC created a new legislative instrument to temporarily replace seven class orders relating to non-cash payment facilities that were due to expire between April 1, 2016 and April 1, 2017. (3/23/2016) ASIC press release.

ASIC consults on remaking ASIC class orders on financial services disclosure.ASIC released a consultation paper, proposing to remake four class orders that are due to expire in 2017. (3/23/2016) ASIC press release.