Our role

See also How we operate

What we do

ASIC is Australia's integrated corporate, markets, financial services and consumer credit regulator.

We are an independent Commonwealth Government body. We are set up under and administer the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (ASIC Act), and we carry out most of our work under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act).

The ASIC Act requires us to:

  • maintain, facilitate and improve the performance of the financial system and entities in it
  • promote confident and informed participation by investors and consumers in the financial system
  • administer the law effectively and with minimal procedural requirements
  • enforce and give effect to the law
  • receive, process and store, efficiently and quickly, information that is given to us
  • make information about companies and other bodies available to the public as soon as practicable
  • take whatever action we can, and which is necessary, to enforce and give effect to the law.

More about the laws we administer

Other regulators and organisations

International activities

Our vision and mission

Our vision: A fair, strong and efficient financial system for all Australians.

Our regulatory mission

To realise our vision we will use all our regulatory tools to:

  • change behaviours to drive good consumer and investor outcomes
  • act against misconduct to maintain trust and integrity in the financial system
  • promote strong and innovative development of the financial system
  • help Australians to be in control of their financial lives.

Our registry mission

To realise our vision we will:

  • provide efficient and accessible business registers that make it easier to do business.

Our strategic priorities

ASIC's strategic priorities are outlined in our Corporate Plan, updated each year. For ASIC’s current strategic priorities, refer to ASIC's Corporate Plan 2019-23.

Who we regulate

We regulate Australian companies, financial markets, financial services organisations and professionals who deal and advise in investments, superannuation, insurance, deposit taking and credit.

As the consumer credit regulator, we license and regulate people and businesses engaging in consumer credit activities (including banks, credit unions, finance companies, and mortgage and finance brokers). We ensure that licensees meet the standards including their responsibilities to consumers that are set out in the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.

As the markets regulator, we assess how effectively authorised financial markets are complying with their legal obligations to operate fair, orderly and transparent markets. We also advise the Minister about authorising new markets.

On 1 August 2010, we assumed responsibility for the supervision of trading on Australia’s domestic licensed equity, derivatives and futures markets.

As the financial services regulator, we license and monitor financial services businesses to ensure that they operate efficiently, honestly and fairly. These businesses typically deal in superannuation, managed funds, shares and company securities, derivatives and insurance.

Our powers

The laws we administer give us the facilitative, regulatory and enforcement powers necessary for us to perform our role. These include the power to:

  • register companies and managed investment schemes
  • grant Australian financial services licences and Australian credit licences
  • register auditors and liquidators
  • grant relief from various provisions of the legislation which we administer
  • maintain publicly accessible registers of information about companies, financial services licensees and credit licensees
  • make rules aimed at ensuring the integrity of financial markets
  • stop the issue of financial products under defective disclosure documents
  • investigate suspected breaches of the law and in so doing require people to produce books or answer questions at an examination
  • issue infringement notices in relation to alleged breaches of some laws
  • ban people from engaging in credit activities or providing financial services
  • seek civil penalties from the courts
  • commence prosecutions these are generally conducted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, although there are some categories of matters which we prosecute ourselves.

Protecting consumers and investors

We have powers to protect consumers against misleading or deceptive and unconscionable conduct affecting all financial products and services, including credit.

Read more about our services to consumers

Statements of expectation and intent

Read the Treasurer's Statement of Expectations and ASIC's Statement of Intent

ASIC industry funding

Industry funding: what you need to know

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More about industry funding

Last updated: 28/08/2019 08:55