ASIC vows to target poor culture in financial services

ASIC vows to target poor culture in financial services | Insurance Business Australia

ASIC vows to target poor culture in financial services

ASIC has released its 2018-19 to 2021-22 Corporate Plan, in which it committed to being a “strategic” and “forceful” regulator to help the financial sector regain consumer trust.

ASIC said that in the coming financial year, it will “focus on poor culture and professionalism in financial services and credit, particularly in the provision of consumer credit and financial advice, the fair treatment of small business, and the use of consumer data by firms (including data governance).”

“As a starting point to establishing trust, individuals, firms, and industry need to improve their conduct by demonstrating greater levels of professionalism,” said James Shipton, ASIC chairman. “Cultural change and better governance are also vital. Industry needs to address systemic issues, such as conflicts of interest. Firms need to ensure they adopt a culture of professionalism and make sure it is cascaded through the entire firm and sector.”

Shipton said that as a core part of the financial system, ASIC will play an important role in driving behaviours that build and restore trust.

“We will do this by being a strategic as well as forceful regulator, and by proactively identifying harms to consumers (including vulnerable consumers such as Indigenous Australians), investors and markets, prioritising and addressing the most significant harms, accelerating enforcement outcomes, implementing new supervisory approaches, and promoting adoption of regulatory technology by industry,” Shipton said.

ASIC also plans to continue working with the government to upgrade its enforcement powers and penalties, and on the proposed financial-product governance obligations and intervention powers.