ASIC embarks on regtech initiative

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced its Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) under which it will be working with five regulatory technology entities, dealing with the challenges of corporate disclosure.

The initiative would see ASIC work with the following entities: Bedrock AI, DigitalX Limited, Eastern Analytica, Listcorp and Pyxta.

The latest BRII round would aim to assesses the potential of regtech to solve challenges across government agencies and departments and ASIC’s selected challenge would explore the potential of using technology to help identify and assess poor market disclosure by listed companies.

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Under the terms of the deal, there would be grants of up to $100,000 to each of the five successful small-to-medium regtech enterprises (SMEs) to conduct a feasibility study in response to the corporate disclosure challenge during a period of about three months and ASIC would work with the five successful regtech firms throughout the feasibility study stage.

In the next stage of the BRII Regtech Round, two of the regtechs might receive further grants of up to $1 million each to develop and test a proof of concept over a further 15 months.

ASIC’s BRII challenge to applicants focused on developing a technology solution to help ASIC analyse corporate disclosures, and other datasets, to identify and assess compliance by listed companies with a range of requirements, including:

  • Continuous disclosure (price sensitive disclosure) and other disclosure obligations to the market;
  • Financial reporting obligations;
  • The prohibition against misleading or deceptive disclosure (such as misleading categorisation of market announcements); and
  • The prohibition against practices that manipulate the pricing of securities.

“ASIC deliberately designed a challenge around market disclosure that is a representative problem so that potential regtech solutions can also be applied to other problem use cases by agencies and industry,” ASIC commissioner Cathie Armour said.

“Working towards an innovative solution has the potential to transform ASIC’s ability to harness technology to reduce regulatory burden, while enhancing market integrity.”

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