ASIC disputes need for external advisory board

ASIC danielle press FRAA

14 February 2022
| By Laura Dew |
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There is no need for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to be overseen by an external advisory board as it would require input for all parts of the community it represented.

Speaking to the Senate Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, ASIC deputy chair, Sarah Court, said: “In conversation about an advisory board or any other external board, I am very much of the view that it would not be of great assistance to ASIC. Not least because of the conflict issue.

“If you started to have industry representatives overseeing ASIC in any way then you would need to have representatives from a number of other areas, consumer groups, financial advisers, the entire range of the community we regulate and really the FRAA [Financial Regulator Assessment Authority] is doing exactly that job.

“We now have additional level of oversight and our engagement with the body has been extremely constructive and very helpful but I would hope we see how that process works and see what the outputs are.”

The FRAA was set up in June 2021 to review and report the effectiveness of capability of ASIC and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

She highlighted Parliament, the courts, media and the FRAA already did a good job of holding the regulator to account.

Her comments were echoed by chair, Joe Longo, who said he could not see what value an advisory board would bring.

“We are not a board of corporation, that can be voted in and out by shareholders and has the rough and tumble of commercial life which brings all sorts of issues. I question what an advisory board can bring.

“I think even having an advisory board, I’m not sure what value that would add.

“We must be among one of the most consultative agencies on the planet, we have all range of groups where we try our best to be engaged and listened to.”

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