The Australian Parliament passed the Banking Amendment (Covered Bonds) Bill 2011 on 13 October. As the Act commences the day it receives Royal Assent, which should be soon, Australian financial institutions will not have to wait much longer before they can issue covered bonds.

As we have noted previously, some important details of the covered bonds regime are being left to prudential guidelines from APRA and regulations. Until we see them, we will not have a complete picture of the regulatory landscape. We will keep you informed as and when we see further developments.

STOP PRESS: We've just learnt that the Bill was given Royal Assent today, so these changes are now law.