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Issue 768, 30 July 2020 
In this issue: 


Internal dispute resolution: new ASIC regulatory guide 

As reported in ASFA Action over the last year, ASIC has been working towards issuing substantially revised standards for internal dispute resolution (IDR) for financial firms, including superannuation trustees. ASIC recently advised it would publish its new standards in July, for commencement on 5 October 2021. 

Today, ASIC published new Regulatory Guide RG 271 Internal Dispute Resolution. 

RG 271 introduces reduced timeframes for responding to complaints. As anticipated, there are significant changes to the timeframe for providing an IDR response for a ‘superannuation trustee complaint’. The following maximum timeframes will apply: 

Importantly, RG 271 provides a conditional exemption from the above timeframes where there has been no reasonable opportunity to provide the IDR response because resolution of the individual complaint is particularly complex, and/or circumstances beyond the trustee’s control are causing complaint management delays. 

A further key change between RG 271 and the existing IDR standards in Regulatory Guide RG 165 Licensing: Internal and external dispute resolution, is the specific recognition of complaints made via social media channels. 

In addition to stipulating new maximum timeframes for IDR responses, RG 271 also sets out what information financial firms must include in written IDR responses to allow consumers to decide whether to escalate their complaint. 

RG 165 will continue to apply to complaints made to financial firms before 5 October 2021. 

ASIC has indicated that it will undertake further consultation, in coming months, on proposed requirements for financial firms to report IDR data to ASIC. These requirements were included in ASIC’s initial consultation on the IDR standards however ASIC indicated late last year that it would defer their introduction pending further consultation. 

Refer ASFA Action issues 708, 723, 726, 728, 759 and 762 for background on the development of the new IDR standards. 



Electronic transactions regulations remade 

The Government has made the Electronic Transactions Regulations 2020 (the 2020 Regulations) to replace the Electronic Transactions Regulations 2000 (the 2000 Regulations), which were due to sunset (expire) on 1 October. 

The Electronic Transactions Act 1999 (ETA) is a generic regime that facilitates the use of electronic transactions and enables businesses and the community to use electronic communications. In essence, the Act ensures that a transaction under a Commonwealth law will not be invalid simply because it was conducted through electronic communication (however it should be noted that many Commonwealth regulatory requirements already contain specific provisions about electronic communication, and those rules are not displaced by the ETA regime). 

The ETA regime applies to all laws of the Commonwealth unless a law—or specific aspects of it—is exempted via regulations. 

The 2000 Regulations exempted the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 and subordinate legislation made under it from the ETA regime, other than some specified provisions – in effect, this means the ETA regime only applies in relation to those specified provisions. These included several provisions relating to accrued default amounts and elections about MySuper products, and the APRA prudential standards made under section 34C. The 2020 Regulations retain the list of specified provisions set out in the 2000 Regulations and have added to it provisions relating to elections about maintaining insurance under the Protecting Your Superannuation and Putting Members’ Interests First rules, and requirements about accounts and statements for self-managed superannuation funds. 




ASFA’s Regulatory Watchlist (ARW) tracks developments in Legislation, inquiries, consultations

and other regulatory announcements relevant to superannuation.

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