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Royal Commission Update

Earlier this week the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) provided an update on their implementation of the Royal Commission recommendations.

ASIC Chairman James Shipton said in an official statement, “ASIC is working on the Royal Commission recommendations directed at ASIC and addressing concerns in the areas highlighted by the Royal Commission.”

This comes after the government released two notices earlier this week their implementation of the royal commission recommendations specifically around the Recommendation 2.4 Grandfathered Commissions and their consultation around the new ASIC Powers, as part of their implementation roadmap.

On Wednesday, the government said, “Today the Government has announced a consultation on exposure draft legislation which will strengthen the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) enforcement and supervision powers to protect consumers, in line with the recommendations of the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce.”

The government shared some key highlights from their draft legislation earlier this week:

  • Strengthens ASIC's licensing powers by increasing the standards required of an Australian Financial Services (AFS) Licence holder, at both the time of application and on an ongoing basis.

  • Aligns the penalties for false and misleading statements in AFS Licence and Australian Credit Licence applications.

  • Extends ASIC's powers so that they may ban a person from performing functions in financial services or credit business. The legislation also expands the grounds on which ASIC can issue banning orders.

  • Harmonises ASIC's Search Warrant powers across different Acts and brings them into line with the search warrant powers in the Crimes Act.

  • Allows interception agencies to provide lawfully intercepted information to ASIC for serious offences that ASIC can investigate or prosecute.

The consultation for this draft legislation

In their official message, ASIC expressed their support for the strategic roadmap which they announced this year.

“This Update, outlining as it does the progress in pursuit of ASIC’s renewed enforcement mandate, should indicate the sense of urgency and significance that the ASIC Commissioners and staff are bringing to the task. It also demonstrates that we will continue to use all of the regulatory tools at our disposal to deliver a fair, safe and efficient financial system for all Australians,” ASIC Commissioner Sean Hughes said in an official statement.

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