11 September 2019

Taking action on the Banking, Superannuation & Financial Services Industry Royal Commission – Consultation on new ASIC powers to strengthen financial regulators

The Morrison Government is continuing to deliver on the commitments set out in its Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry Royal Commission Implementation Roadmap Restoring Trust in Australia’s Financial System.

Today the Government has announced 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 draft legislation:

  • 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 a 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 exposure draft legislation is further evidence of the Government’s commitment to strengthening financial regulators like ASIC, and restoring trust in the financial system as part of our plan to build a stronger economy.

Exposure draft legislation is available on the Treasury website. Consultation closes on 9 October 2019.