Frydenberg’s tough message to regulators – you have enough powers

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. 

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“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. 

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Weasel words Josh.
You have helped let’s ASIC and it’s total anti Adviser culture thrive.
Indeed Frydenberg you have been a significant part of the problem, initiating LIF on false Churn accusations from ASIC.
Now FASEA is a complete basket case of total conflicts, left wing loonies, and paid for biased submissions. It is a total FARSEA.
Danielle Press must go
Entire FARSEA board must go.
ASIC must lose its Regulatory Capture corruption to Industry Super and anti Real Adviser.
Frydenberg, you are also Responsible for letting ASIC force another complete repetitive duplication of AFSL compliance by admin platforms over Advisers when it is not even legislated. You want more affordable advice Mr Treasurer, yet you over see massive increases in compliance costs that result in the exact opposite.
You are doing a terrible job to small business Real Advisers.

Well said, fair-weather Josh blows whichever way the political winds blow hardest.

He wants the top job and knows it is essentially a PR popularity thing, so willing to be the Shorten of the Lib party and say whatever he thinks will get the most votes.

Josh " no balls" Frydenberg...ignores the massive issues regarding ASIC's cover up and mishandling of James Shipton' personal tax advice expenses and ignores ASIC paying 2 academics to provide a submission to FASEA.
This is not going to go away Josh......we will not let it go away Josh.
You need to put your big boy pants on now and stand up for what is right and just and act on ethical principles and not politics.
If you do not, there are people who will be pushing extremely hard for a vote of no confidence in your position and your ability to address matters of significant importance.

Good on you Josh for saying this. And why is it that most regulation is prescriptive not based on "you will have a policy, plan and template for doing these things" rather than writing the plan and template. This would massively reduce compliance costs. The problem too is that middle management in regulators are 'no' to doing things that even their bosses OK. I've seen it for years, esp ASIC - you talk to a Commissioner who says 'good idea' only to be swamped with negatives and objections by the (often faceless) bureaucrats 1 and 2 levels down.

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