A better toolkit for ASIC
A speech by Peter Kell, Deputy Chairman, Australian Securities and Investments Commission to the Thomson Reuters Regulatory Summit 2017 (Sydney, Australia) on 6 June 2017
The financial services sector has been the subject of unprecedented public scrutiny in recent years following numerous examples of poor consumer outcomes, misconduct and poor culture.
There is an extensive set of reforms that have recently been introduced, or are under way, across the banking, wealth management and insurance sectors – both in Australia and abroad. These are designed to lift standards and improve market outcomes in a sector that has too often failed to meet community expectations, with subsequent erosion in trust and confidence.
We are also seeing changing expectations of regulators, including ASIC. Part of this is about ensuring that regulators have the powers and capacity to act more effectively to identify and address market problems. In other words, regulators need a better toolkit. Preventing all failures or collapses will never be possible, but there is a clear expectation that standards and outcomes can and should be lifted.
Both ASIC and financial services and credit providers need to be in a position to meet these changing expectations, to rebuild confidence and trust in the financial system.
In this setting, today I will discuss progress towards a better toolkit for ASIC. There are three aspects of this topic I wanted to touch on:
- what has been identified as missing from ASIC’s regulatory toolkit
- what steps have been taken towards a reform agenda
- important characteristics of a better toolkit to achieve the desired outcomes for the financial system and consumers.