ASIC yesterday released its Enforcement Review Taskforce position paper titled ‘ASIC’s power to ban senior officials in the financial sector’.
In its final report, the Financial System (Murray) Inquiry concluded that ASIC’s banning powers against individuals needed to be enhanced to improve accountability of managers and the culture of firms in the financial services and credit sectors.
The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said that Government is changing the game in terms of accountability in the financial sector.
“The Government and the community are demanding better from those who occupy senior roles in banks, and the financial services sector generally,” Minister O’Dwyer said.
“The Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) will ensure banks and their senior executives and directors are held accountable when they fail to meet community expectations, including through stronger powers for APRA to remove and disqualify senior executives and directors and through new civil penalties.
“The Taskforce positions would complement the BEAR by enhancing ASIC’s power to hold individuals in the financial services and credit sectors to account for their conduct, in line with the conclusions of the Murray Inquiry.”
The ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce was established by the Turnbull Government in October 2016. The terms of reference allow for an examination of the adequacy of ASIC’s enforcement regime, including the adequacy of ASIC’s power to ban senior managers from continued employment in financial services businesses.
The Taskforce is now seeking community and industry feedback on the paper before making final recommendations to the Government and the Government looks forward to receiving the final report of the Taskforce later this year.
Membership of the Taskforce includes senior members of the Treasury, ASIC, the Attorney‑General’s Department and the office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, as well as representatives from industry bodies, consumer groups and academia.
The position paper is available on the Treasury website. Interested stakeholders are invited to comment on the positions put forward by the Taskforce. Submissions for this consultation close 4 October 2017.