Regulatory update 2014: Insights from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission
A speech by Peter Kell, Deputy Chairman, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), 28 February 2014
As always, I welcome the opportunity to set out ASIC’s priorities for the year ahead in the general insurance sector.
As you will be aware, ASIC is responsible for administering the provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) which govern conduct and disclosure by financial services licensees. We are also responsible for enforcing the consumer protection provisions of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (ASIC Act) and for administering the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Insurance Contracts Act).
Our aim in administering these laws is to ensure that consumers can have confidence in the financial system. Consumers should be able to trust the firms that they deal with and the information they receive. ASIC wants to see confident and informed consumers, and this objective determines the areas we focus our attention on.
In addition, ASIC is also concerned with ensuring that the market operates efficiently, and that we administer the law in a way that allows honest and competitive businesses to prosper. We want firms to operate on a level playing field where they understand the approach of the regulator.
Today I want to:
- run through recent reforms in the retail insurance sector, particularly those that emerged out of recent natural disasters
- outline several of our projects in the general insurance sector, including a review of home insurance and comparison websites, and
- set out ASIC’s approach to ‘add-on’ insurance products and why this is an important area of focus for the regulator.