In December (here) I suggested that the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (‘FSRC’) had the potential to become the seventh inquiry in the last seven years to examine the conduct of Restructuring and Turnaround practitioners.
The third round of hearings which commence on 21 May specifically allocates time (the agenda is here) to considering the “approach of banks to enforcement, management and monitoring of loans to businesses.”
On 7 May the FSRC published its 10th background paper: Credit for small business – An overview of Australian law regulating small business loans. The paper does extremely well to condense a very broad subject into 41 pages but surprisingly makes no mention whatsoever of the PPSA – which is surely significant, if only for the fact that it imposes a duty comparable to section 420A.
Two days later the FSRC released background paper 11 (both papers are available here) prepared by Treasury at the request of the Royal Commission to provide an “overview of reforms to small business lending.” There is likewise no mention of the PPSA regime, but the paper does include comment about the ILRA legislation, as well as brief reference to safe harbour and ipso facto.
There have not yet been any reports of Restructuring & Turnaround professionals being asked to appear – but we may be getting closer.