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21-273MR ASIC releases 2020–21 Annual Report
In the 2020–21 financial year, Australia’s financial system faced almost unprecedented challenges as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. During this difficult period, ASIC remained focused on its vision of a fair, strong and efficient financial system for all Australians.
ASIC Chair Joe Longo said, ‘ASIC continues to work to support the economy as it recovers from an extended period of instability caused by the global pandemic.
‘Across the financial year, ASIC made targeted interventions and implemented a number of relief measures to assist Australia’s corporate sector, while also making great strides towards implementing the Financial Services Royal Commission reforms.
‘In addition to this important work, in 2020–21 ASIC finalised many of the enforcement matters arising from the Royal Commission and increased its enforcement action generally.’
Released today, ASIC’s 2020–21 Annual Report outlines the key measures ASIC took to achieve its goals in that time.
Importantly for both consumers and businesses, ASIC developed guidance on significant Royal Commission reforms, including new design and distribution obligations, breach reporting obligations and the deferred sales model for add-on insurance, which have come into effect recently.
ASIC also continued to build ASIC’s enforcement capability, securing $189 million in civil penalties and increasing new criminal litigation by 28%.
Internally, ASIC implemented a number of the recommendations of the Thom Review, designed to deliver long-term improvement to ASIC’s risk and compliance practices and capabilities. ASIC’s internal governance has been strengthened through an enhanced risk management framework and changes to operational strategy and management.
‘ASIC remains fully committed to working with its regulated population and fellow regulators to support the Australian economy and protect vulnerable consumers,’ Chair Longo concluded.