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ASIC hits back at media ‘smears’

ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft has appeared in a YouTube video condemning media coverage of the Senate inquiry and pointing to its “positive” track record.

In a video uploaded to the YouTube website yesterday, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s chairman said the corporate regulator is being unfairly treated by the press.

“Recent media reports have tried to cast doubt on ASIC’s good work and smear our staff and culture,” Mr Medcraft said.

At the same time, Mr Medcraft acknowledged that “people have high expectations” of the corporate regulator due to its “broad remit” and the fact that its work affects large swathes of the community.

Mr Medcraft defended his staff and ASIC’s enforcement record over recent months.

“ASIC has done much to be proud of – we have good staff who work here for a good reason: because they care about the public interest,” he said.

The chairman pointed to the statistics of ASIC’s industry bans, investigations and surveillance activity, emphasising its achievement of $349 million in compensation for consumers and investors.

Mr Medcraft also took the opportunity to reiterate that ASIC welcomes the Senate inquiry into its performance.

“Inquiries like this are all about our accountability to the parliament and we take that seriously,” he said.