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Regulator April 2011


Welcome to our April edition of Regulator.

If the events of the last two years have taught us anything, it is how inter-connected we are as participants in the global economy. While regulators around the world have spent much of this period focused on addressing systemic risks in the financial markets at both an international and national level, there are also a number of more discrete developments occurring around the world that impact upon market participants many thousands of miles away. In this issue of Regulator, we take a look at some of the developments occurring in China, Europe, the US and UK, and consider their impact on financial services firms in the Asia Pacific. We are also proud to announce and preview a newMallesons' publication, the European Regulatory Update, produced by our London team. The Update provides a snapshot each month of major developments across Europe.

China's burgeoning role in the world economy is undisputed. In this issue, David Olsson explores some of the features of China's new Five Year Plan and the structural changes proposed to its economic growth model. China's financial markets are critical to this process and an enormous amount of energy is being directed at making the markets more robust and innovative. Strengthening state owned and commercial banks is critical, and David looks at current plans to implement Basel III.

As the world gets smaller, standard form agreements play an important role in international financial transactions. They provide enhanced certainty, but local laws can impact upon the interpretation of these agreements. Paul McBride contemplates recent cases concerning the ISDA Master Agreement, one of the most widely used standard agreements in the world, and the divergence of English and US law on the effectiveness of the "flip cause" that is commonly used in structured finance transactions.

An important observation during this recent period of intense regulatory review is the way in which developments intended to address issues in one sector are spilling over into others. Some of these changes are foreshadowed, others are unintended. This has informed Mallesons' 'whole of market' approach to regulation. In her update on Australia's price signalling laws, Sharon Henrick considers the Government's revised proposals, which are directed at the financial services sector in the first instance, but may apply to others in the near to medium future. It's interesting to note also that the proposed scheme will set Australia apart from the EU, UK and US, which do not have competition laws as stringent as those proposed.

We hope you find this international review both interesting and helpful, and as always, we welcome any feedback or suggestions that you may have.


European Regulatory Update 

In this new publication, we provide an in-depth analysis of the key legal and regulatory reforms which are likely to impact on you doing business in Europe.  We focus on important capital markets, banking and finance, corporate and M&A reforms and issues.

The first edition covers proposals for a European Contract Law, prospectus and reporting issues, increased costs and new regulatory charges for banks, new merger methods and proposed amendments to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive.  



 Local contact(s)

Key developments in financial sector regulation


A quiet revolution in China's financial markets

Strengthening China’s state owned and commercial banks has been a strategic priority for China for the last five years, with a rafts of policies and rules being implemented to restructure, refurbish and recapitalise the banks. Read more

David Olsson

Be careful what you contract for

The collapse of Lehman Brothers and the GFC have sparked a number of challenges to derivatives documents. Counterparties have tried creative contractual interpretation and policy based arguments to undermine their written agreements. Read more

Paul McBride
Joel Brown

Amendments to proposed price signalling laws

Following a three month consultation period, the Government introduced its revised price signalling Bill into the House of Representatives on 24 March. While the amended Bill improves the process for authorising price disclosures and adds much-needed exceptions, it retains two unnecessary prohibitions that have the potential to catch a number of harmless business practices. Read more

Sharon Henrick
Matt Sherman

Personal Property Securities - topical issues

With the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cwlth) (“PPSA”) coming into effect in October, there are still a number of important issues which will impact on business and commercial transactions.
Read more

John Canning