On 16 April, the Government has released exposure draft legislation to relax the restriction on ownership of banks and insurers as well as the introduction of a new streamlined approval path under the Financial Sector (Shareholdings) Act 1998 (Cth) (FSSA). 

The Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison, stated that the amendments will increase the general FSSA ownership cap from 15 to 20 percent, in line with the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth) and allow owners of domestically incorporated companies to hold more than 20 percent of an institution’s shares in certain circumstances.

Submissions are due by 4 May 2018.