Financial Services Reform Act 2001: Challenges for ASIC
An address by Jillian Segal, Deputy Chair, ASIC, to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) FSRB (CLERP 6) Series, Sydney, 28 February 2002.
Thank you for inviting me to join you today. This is a most timely conference as we start to approach the 11 March commencement date for the Financial Services Reform Act 2001 (FSRA).
As you would expect, a major focus for ASIC over the last year has been, and will continue to be, the significant transition to the new financial services disclosure and licensing regime under FSRA. ASIC has dedicated a significant amount of resources to the implementation of FSRA in order to enable a smooth and effective transition to the regime, which is essential to the integrity and confidence of the market.
As the third stage of the Wallis Inquiry, FSRA probably represents the most significant corporate law reform experienced by the financial services sector in Australia – it provides a new regime for the regulation of financial products and services and aims to enhance consumer protection by adding to financial safety and market integrity. FSRA follows the other CLERP reforms and the restructuring of the financial system regulators, as well as the introduction of the Managed Investments regime in July 1998.
While industry has been working to deal with all this reform, the onus and burden on the regulator is very rarely appreciated. Today, rather than discuss any of the technical detail of FSRA, I would like to give you some insight into the task ASIC has faced to implement FSRA and facilitate, for industry, the transition to the new regime.