Australia’s corporate regulator has been granted new powers to “embed” its officials inside the nation’s five biggest financial institutions, to address serious failings in the sector exposed by the banking royal commission.
ASIC’s new regulatory power is part of a $70.1 million plan recently announced by financial services minister, Kelly O’Dwyer, and treasurer Scott Morrison, to improve the monitoring of financial institutions’ governance and compliance.
Under the $70.1 million plan, ASIC will embed its staff in the big four banks and wealth manager AMP, set up a taskforce to identify and pursue failings inside large listed companies, and conduct on-site surveillance and investigations of those companies, as part of the organisation’s “refocus” on proactive enforcement under new ASIC chairman James Shipton, The Guardian reported.
Shipton assumed the top role at ASIC in February, replacing Greg Medcraft.
The ASIC package follows the $121.3 million funding boost promised to the regulator in 2016.
O’Dwyer said the funding would ensure that ASIC “is on the front foot when it comes to considering any deficiencies in the governance and compliance structures of these large financial institutions, so as to prevent harm to consumers before it occurs,” The Guardian reported.