ASIC is about to move its staff inside the banks

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images
  • The Federal government announced an extra $70.1 million in funding for ASIC .
  • $8 million will be used to embed ASIC staff within the big four banks and AMP.
  • The new funding is all about proactive enforcement.

Corporate regulator ASIC will be embedding dedicated staff within the big four banks and AMP to monitor governance and compliance.

The Federal Government today announced $8 million to implement a new approach for supervising Australia’s five largest financial institutions.

The money was part of $70.1 million for ASIC to ensure the corporate regulator has the resources and powers it needs to combat misconduct in the financial services industry.

Financial services Minster Kelly O’Dwyer says the additional funding follows a decision by ASIC’s new Chairman, James Shipton, to focus on proactive enforcement and increase onsite supervisory approaches.

The measures include:

  • $26.2 million to accelerate and increase the intensity of ASIC’s enforcement activities and enhance its capacity to pursue actions for serious misconduct against well-funded litigants, through the Enforcement Special Account;
  • $9.4 million to boost supervision of the superannuation sector by strengthening audit and enforcement action to improve transparency;
  • $8 million to implement a new supervisory approach in respect of Australia’s five largest financial institutions (the big four banks and AMP) by, for the first time, embedding dedicated staff to monitor governance and compliance actions;
  • $6.8 million to establish a dedicated task force which will conduct a proactive, targeted and thematic review into corporate governance to identify and pursue failings in large listed companies, including deploying staff to conduct new on-site surveillance and investigations;
  • $6.6 million to implement the Government’s reforms to whistleblower protection laws, so that ASIC can better receive, assess, triage and address whistle blower disclosures about misconduct; and
  • $6 million to promote Australia as a world leader in the development and adoption of regulatory technology solutions for the financial services industry.

The remaining funds will be directed towards improving consumer access to the Financial Advisers Register, enhancing ASIC’s enforcement work on the unfair contract term protections for small businesses, and ensuring compliance by licensees and financial advisers with the Future of Financial Advice laws.

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