Regulatory compliance in the borderless community of 2001
A speech by Sean Hughes, Director, Deposit taking, Insurance, Superannuation and Consumer protection, ASIC, to the Enforcement and Compliance Seminar in Melbourne, 27–28 March 2001.
Thank you very much for your kind invitation to speak to your seminar this afternoon.
For some of you (although I hope not too many), the acronym 'ASIC' will be unclear. ASIC stands for Australian Securities and Investments Commission, an independent Commonwealth government agency which is required by law to ensure and enhance consumer protection and market integrity in financial markets. That legal obligation has a very wide ambit, covering securities and futures markets as well as insurance, banking and superannuation (or pension fund) sectors.
I am going to focus today initially on some broad aspects of consumer protection regulation, which underlie the financial markets which come under ASIC's regulation. These broad consumer protection considerations will also help me put into context the role of ASIC in the regulation of the financial markets in the 21st century and ASIC's approach to those regulatory and law enforcement challenges in an electronic environment.
The topics which I will discuss this afternoon include:
- why consumer protection regulation is important for the efficient operation of financial markets
- cross-jurisdictional regulatory responsibilities since 1998
- the coordination of activity between regulators
- ASIC's e-commerce initiatives in regulation and enforcement
- challenges in the electronic regulatory environment for regulators and consumers.