ASIC to be questioned over regulatory power

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is due to appear before the House Economics Committee this Wednesday (16 October) to assess the regulator’s powers with committee chair Tim Wilson MP saying big banks need to ‘fear’ the regulator.

The appearance would be part of a review of the regulator’s performance on how it was implementing the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

Wilson said there were concerns among the committee that ASIC had not ‘adequately penalised’ those it regulated at a time when banks should be fearful of the regulator and its powers had been strengthened, thanks to the Royal Commission.

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“A common theme across the Royal Commission was that ASIC needs to take a stronger stance on enforcement. Australians expect the big banks and others to fear their regulator. There were too many examples where ASIC had not adequately penalised those it regulates,” Wilson said.

“Since the committee’s last hearing with ASIC, the government has passed a comprehensive package of legislation that broadens and strengthens ASIC’s powers as well as providing a range of tougher penalties for wrongdoers.”

The committee would discuss issues such as ASIC’s enforcement strategy, supervisory approach, efforts to trust, eliminate conflicts of interest and raise standards of professionalism in Australia’s financial services industry.



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