The Federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg has sent a tough message to the financial services regulators – the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) – that they now have enough powers deliver on their mandate.
What is more, he said that the regulators needed to deliver on the implementation of Government policy, not seek to supplement it.
In an address to a media forum this week, Frydenberg outlined the additional powers which had been delivered including product intervention and design and distribution obligations and made clear he believed the Government had delivered enough.
“Our regulators now have the tools they need to deliver on their mandate without needing to come to government with more requests,” the Treasurer said.
“The public rightly expect that regulators pursue their enforcement activities according to the law and independent of government. They need to independently decide on individual matters and cases, whether to approve a licence for an applicant or take particular enforcement action,” Frydenberg said.
“However, regulators do not carry out their mandates in a vacuum. They must pursue their mandates in a manner that is consistent with the will of the Parliament,” he said. “There need to be mechanisms to hold them to account. This will be a key role of the Financial Regulator Accountability Authority that Commissioner Hayne recommended and the Government has accepted.”
“It is the Parliament who determines who and what should be regulated. It’s the role of regulators to deliver on that intent, not to supplement, circumvent or frustrate it.”
Frydenberg’s speech was delivered at the same time as ASIC was appearing before a key Parliamentary committee and revealed the degree to which it had funded a consumer submission to the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority code of conduct consultation.