The Act deals essentially with three areas:
(1) reform of the regulatory structure for financial services;
(2) a new statutory fitness and probity regime for directors and certain executives of financial services companies; and
(3) miscellaneous amendments to existing legislation.
The Act has relevance for all regulated financial service providers including credit institutions, insurance companies, investment funds and service providers to investment funds etc.
Of most relevance to the industry is the provision of a new statutory-based fitness and probity regime. While formalising much of the current more loosely-based fitness and probity regime, the Act also provides for more stringent and comprehensive powers of investigation and enforcement.
The specific provisions of the Act will not however come into operation until the Minister for Finance (the “Minister”) has signed a commencement order. It is anticipated that he will issue orders in respect of specified provisions of the Act later this month.