ASIC today published its Corporate Plan 2015–16 to 2018-19 and Focus for 2015-16.
The Corporate Plan communicates our current thoughts on how our long term strategic priorities and challenges are shaping our strategy and responses over this period. We see our long term challenges as balancing a free market-based system with investor and financial consumer protection, digital disruption, structural change, financial innovation-driven complexity, and globalisation.
The Corporate Plan also identifies a number of key ASIC focuses where we see particular concerns that flow from the long term challenges we face in 2015-16. These are in the areas of gatekeeper conduct, cyber attacks, poor financial advice, misalignment of retail product design and distribution with consumer understanding, and cross-border businesses, services and transactions.
ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft said, 'Our strategic priorities of investor and financial consumer trust and confidence, and fair, orderly, transparent and efficient markets are critical to the operation of our free market-based system, which is based on the principles of investor responsibility, gatekeeper responsibility and the rule of law.
'Gatekeepers play a crucial role in ensuring the financial system’s overall health is sound, so people can have trust and confidence in the system.
'Understanding the behaviour of investors, consumers and gatekeepers, and using the right nudges is central to achieving our objectives. We are embedding behavioural insights in the way we do our regulatory work to ensure we regulate for real people.
'People’s financial decisions are often influenced by financial literacy and behavioural biases.
'The behaviour of gatekeepers is influenced by culture, incentives and deterrence. Where we find a firm’s culture is lacking, it is a red flag that there may be broader regulatory problems. Deterrence involves the fear and consequences of getting caught. It includes the internal structures that a gatekeeper has in place to deter employee misconduct.
'As a law enforcement agency, where we see non-compliance, we will continue to act quickly and decisively to promote trust and confidence in the Australian financial system through our ‘detect, understand and respond’ approach.
'We achieve the best risk resilience in the system that we can with the resources we have.'
The Corporate Plan also highlights how ASIC will evaluate its performance over time and strengthen its capabilities to meet future regulatory challenges.
Mr Medcraft added, 'We are on the cusp of change and our Corporate Plan shows that we are well placed to embrace the likely opportunities to flow from the Government’s response to the Financial System Inquiry and the Government’s capability review of ASIC.'