ASIC gets AUS$127 million from banks

ASIC gets AUS$127 million from banks: “Those who generate the need for regulation should pay for it”

The Australian Government announced additional funding for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), an extra AUS$127 million ($99 million)…

The Australian Government announced additional funding for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), an extra AUS$127 million ($99 million) paid for by levy on banks, and restoring the AUS$120 million taken from it in the 2014 Budget after increased political pressure ahead of an election in July 2.

It is known that AUS$61 million will be used to enhance its surveillance and data analytics capabilities, and AUS$57 million will support surveillance and enforcement. The Government aims to deliver the funding in tranches of more than AUS$30 million per year over the next four years.

‘This will enable further surveillance and enforcement in areas such as financial planning, responsible lending, life insurance, and misconduct and breach reporting. It will also allow us to build our technological capacity to identify and assess risks and misconduct”, said Greg Medcraft, ASIC Chairman, adding that the institution “has long believed that those who generate the need for regulation should pay for it”, referring to the Industry Funding Model.

Aiming to develop its capabilities in areas such as governance, culture,  communication, and technology, ASIC will be given exemptions from the Public Service Act to hire tech experts trained in sophisticated electronic surveillance of the financial sector. The regulator will also enjoy added powers to act on complaints; will have appointed an additional commissioner with the sole responsibility for prosecutions in the banking sector.

The Australian Government has also appointed a special prosecutor to the financial authority to focus on the banking and finance sector’s recent scandals in the country, where institutions and employees were found to be operating in a predatory manner.

The Capability Review is on the Treasury Department website and can be seen here.

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