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Wednesday 12 September 2012

12-224MR ASIC releases surveillance snapshot and new service charter

A snapshot of ASIC’s surveillance work has been published for the first time, as part of a commitment to improving transparency and increasing the public’s understanding of how ASIC operates.

Building on this initiative, an updated Service Charter outlining the level of performance people can expect to receive, has also been released.

ASIC Chairman, Mr Greg Medcraft said the updated Service Charter sets out the standards of service expected for the most common types of interaction between ASIC and the public, such as complaints, requests and applications.

Surveillance snapshot

The surveillance chart for the 2011-12 financial year shows how often ASIC proactively analyses its regulated populations through both on-site visits and desk-based reviews that last for more than two days.

‘ASIC has a variety of tools at our disposal: engagement, surveillance, education, guidance, enforcement and policy advice to Government. This chart summarises our work using surveillances and shows how ASIC verifies that gatekeepers of the financial system are complying with their obligations’, Mr Medcraft said.

The surveillance chart shows the work each team undertakes and the population (by number) they regulate. It maps out the number of years it would theoretically take to conduct a surveillance on every member of the population. The priorities and objectives for each team are also included.

To take a few examples: ASIC’s Insolvency Practitioners team undertakes a surveillance of Australia’s 670 registered liquidators every four years on average. ASIC’s Investment Banks team undertakes a surveillance of 25 investment banks every 1.3 years on average and 220 hedge funds investment managers/responsible entities every 6.6 years on average. Forty-four retail OTC derivative providers and six credit rating agencies are the subject of a surveillance every year.

‘ASIC takes a risk-based approach to surveillance, identifying significant and strategically important gatekeepers within the financial system to analyse. Holding gatekeepers to account is an important part of how ASIC achieves its priorities to ensure investors and financial consumers are confident and informed, and markets are fair and efficient’, Mr Medcraft said.

The staff numbers shown account for all full-time equivalent positions in each team, (some of whom are not engaged in surveillance work) and represent a portion of ASIC’s 1800-plus full-time and part-time staff.

ASIC intends to release an annual summary of its surveillance work in its Annual Report.

The release of this surveillance data follows the publication of ASIC’s first Enforcement Report in March this year, detailing ASIC enforcement actions between July and December 2011. A second Enforcement Report covering January – June 2012 was published yesterday.

ASIC Service Charter

The updated Service Charter, released today, reflects ASIC’s new consumer credit responsibilities as well as clearer performance targets against all service standards. It has also been updated to reflect ASIC’s new values and strategic outcomes.

The Service Charter sets out:

  • how ASIC serves the public

  • what people can expect when they deal with ASIC, and

  • how people can help ASIC serve them better.

It explains how ASIC responds to requests – for example, when applying for licences or registering a company – and how ASIC responds when people report alleged misconduct by companies or individuals.

‘When someone wants to register a company, the Service Charter states that we should be able to complete the request within one day in 90 per cent or more of cases’, Mr Medcraft said. ‘Last year, we exceeded this target and are again on track to achieve this level of service for 2011-12.’

The Service Charter was first published in 2006 and continues to provide a clear outline of the values that guide ASIC’s service and standards for the most common services.

‘The service standards which ASIC has adopted are intended to give industry players and consumers who use our services a better understanding of what they can expect’, Mr Medcraft said.

ASIC will publish the Service Charter performance results for 2011-12 with the ASIC Annual Report due out later this year.

ASIC’s surveillance and enforcement activities are outside the scope of the Service Charter (refer to the Surveillance and Enforcement Outcomes reports).

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Last updated: 11/09/2012 12:00