Pandemic
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COVID-19

AFMA Information Centre on COVID-19

Well-functioning financial markets are critical to good economic performance. One of AFMA’s roles is to provide a forum for industry participants to engage with each other and with government, so that initiatives to foster the fair and effective operation of our financial markets are appropriately coordinated and, thus, the conditions required to support this outcome are more likely to occur.

In this context, the industry response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic should be well-informed and managed by market participants in conjunction with the government bodies and notably the financial regulators. Industry participants have business continuity plans in place to deal with such events and are subject to regulatory oversight. AFMA is supporting this collaborative effort in its capacity as an industry association, with the aim of helping to sustain the ongoing resilience and efficiency of the markets in Australia in response to the challenges presented by COVID-19.

The following information resources are provided as reference points that may assist member firms as they respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. The updates are provided in descending chronological order.


Industry Guidance

Last Updated 6/8/2020

AFMA Operations

AFMA is operating across the normal range of our activities, including policy and education services. Members can contact us if required to address industry issues related to the broad array of policy and industry matters that we attend to. Education enquiries should be directed here.

AFMA’s priority is to safeguard the wellbeing of our member firms’ employees, our staff and other stakeholders that we engage with. This approach has required us to modify the way we conduct our operations; for example, this includes the use of teleconference facilities to conduct committee meetings.



  • Regulator Updates
Council of Financial Regulators

Regulators release feedback on financial institutions' preparation for LIBOR transition
Statement by the Council of Financial Regulators – March 2020


APRA

APRA publishes frequently asked question on market risk capital requirements in response to COVID-19 APRA announces new commencement dates for prudential and reporting standards APRA issues guidance to ADIs and insurers on Capital Management Changes to reporting obligations in response to covid-19

APRA announces deferral of capital reform implementation
APRA adapts 2020 agenda to prioritise COVID-19 response
APRA advises regulatory approach to COVID-19 support
APRA requests extension of parallel reporting period under Economic and Financial Statistics APRA adjusts bank capital expectations

APRA announced temporary changes to its expectations regarding bank capital ratios, to ensure
banks are well positioned to continue to provide credit to the economy in the current
                        challenging environment.


APRA Prudential Practice Guide: CPG 233 - Pandemic Planning

This PPG aims to assist regulated institutions in considering and prudently managing the risks
                        posed by a potential influenza pandemic, or any other widespread outbreak of contagious disease
that could affect their operations.

ASIC

ASIC releases new instrument for electronic signing and lodgement of documents. ASIC sets expectations for maintaining equity market resilience Details of changes to ASIC regulatory work and priorities in light of COVID-19
ASIC grants relief to industry to provide affordable and timely financial advice
COVID-19 information for financial advisers and advice licensees
Market Integrity Update - COVID-19 Special Issue - 31 March 2020
Facilitating capital raisings during COVID-19 period
ASIC's response to COVID-19 and market volatility

ASIC Guidelines for meeting upcoming AGM and financial reporting requirements

ASIC takes steps to ensure equity market resiliency

ASIC has issued directions under the ASIC Market Integrity Rules to a number of large equity
                        market
participants.

AUSTRAC How to comply with KYC requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic
Fighting financial crime together – SMRs during the COVID-19 pandemic

RBA


Reserve Bank Purchases of Government Securities

Term Funding Facility to Support Lending to Australian Businesses

Statement by Philip Lowe, Governor

Keynote Address at the Australian Financial Review Business Summit

Statement on Monetary Policy: February 2020


  • Infrastructure Providers
ASX

ASX Regulatory Relief and Updated Guidance during COVID-19 Pandemic Temporarily Cease Customer Access to the Australian Liquidity Centre (ALC) ASX to consult on CHESS replacement implementation timetable
ASX Update on COVID-19 - 15 March 2020

ASX supports ASIC’s steps to ensure equity market resiliency

CHI-X

Chi-X Supports ASIC Steps on Equity Market Resiliency


  • Global Industry Response
Basel Committee and IOSCO announce deferral of final implementation phases of the margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives
In response to the concerns in the link below, BCBS and IOSCO have agreed to extend the deadline for completing the final two implementation phases of the margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives, by one year. Industry associations seek delay on Phase Initial Margining Implementation.
AFMA joined with ISDA and other industry associations in writing to the BCBS and IOSCO regarding the timing of the final phases of non-cleared derivatives margin implementation because of the COVID-19 situation. The letter says that the efforts of our members to prepare are severely impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, the associations request their assistance to provide a suspension of the current phase-in timeline to allow our members to focus their limited resources on ensuring continued access to the vital derivatives market. Australian rules on non-cleared derivatives margin implementation are found in APRA CPS 226


  • Government Updates
Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
ATO support with tax obligations because of COVID-19


FASEA
Guidance on CPD compliance arising from COVID-19 business disruption




  • Global Updates
ICSA AFMA has joined with the other members of the International Council of Securities Associations (ICSA) to issue a statement on the vital importance to the global economy of maintaining effective financial markets during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Importance of Effective Financial Markets During the COVID-19 Outbreak
FSB
FSB members take action to ensure continuity of critical financial services functions
SIFMA
SIFMA BCP and COVID-19 Resources
ICMA
ICMA COVID-19 Market Updates
IIAC
IIAC COVID-19 Information Centre

S&P Global Indices

The March rebalance for most S&P indices has been postponed. Please contact index_services@spglobal.com for more information.

DTCC

DTCC Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Physical Securities Processing

CFTC

Pandemic-related relief announced by CFTC
OECD

OECD Secretariat Analysis of Tax treaties and the impact of theCOVID-19 Crisis OECD COVID-19 Information Resource