ASIC’s 2021-25 corporate plan released
Assisting the Australian economy in its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will be a priority for ASIC in the years ahead.
Reining in escalating fees on industry must be a priority in ASIC's four year strategic plan released yesterday if it is serious about supporting economic recovery and a healthy financial services industry at the small and medium enterprise level, said Institute of Public Accountants policy leader Vicki Stylianou.
ASIC has released the details of its corporate plan for the next four years, alongside a statement of intent responding to the Australian government’s expectations for the financial services regulator.
One of the agency's chief priorities is working to achieve the government's economic goals, which are now squarely focused on supporting Australia's path out of the COVID pandemic.
"It is encouraging to see ASIC calling out economic recovery as its top priority through better and more efficient regulation, but efficiency is the critical component in that and something which has been sadly lacking in its cost recovery program to date, alongside transparency and accountability of how the scheme is designed and administered," Ms Stylianou said.
ASIC's plan highlights both external and internal projects and commitments to ensure ASIC delivers on its statutory objectives. ASIC particularly highlighted four external strategic priorities for the years ahead. They are:
- Promoting economic recovery – including through better and more efficient regulation, facilitating innovation, and targeting regulatory and enforcement action to areas of greatest harm.
- Reducing risk of harm to consumers exposed to poor product governance and design, and increased investment scam activity in a low-yield environment.
- Supporting enhanced cyber resilience and cyber security among ASIC’s regulated population, in line with the whole-of-government commitment to mitigating cyber security risks.
- Driving industry readiness and compliance with standards set by law reform initiatives (including the Financial Accountability Regime, reforms in superannuation and insurance, breach reporting, and the design and distribution obligations).
ASIC chair Joe Longo noted that ASIC had an important role to play in strengthening the economy and supporting confidence in the financial system, especially in the face of the ongoing pandemic.
“More than 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to be focused on supporting the Australian economy through these turbulent times,” Mr Longo said.
“We will do this by identifying and pursuing opportunities for smarter regulation that support business, particularly small business. We will facilitate innovation, consider the impact of our work on competition, and work with industry to enhance cyber resilience. We will seek to minimise the cost of regulatory interactions with ASIC, as well as exercise ASIC’s regulatory relief powers where appropriate.”