ASIC resourcing to focus on 'high risk'

ASIC has responded to cuts in its funding by focusing on “risk-based surveillance” as part of its reallocation of resources, vowing to continue its focus on the financial planning sector.

In response to the government’s ‘Statement of Expectation’, ASIC has released its ‘Statement of Intent’, noting that while it can “operate at a range of resource levels…resourcing will affect the outcomes we seek to achieve”.

In the statement, ASIC said it will concentrate on areas that will have the greatest market impact.

“We will continue to focus our proactive risk-based surveillance on areas of high risk to investors and financial consumers, markets and market participants and on those entities and activities that have the greatest market impact,” ASIC said.

“We will focus on financial advisers and managed investment schemes. We will also continue to undertake reactive surveillance where we see possible misconduct.”

The regulator also noted it will seek to achieve the government’s plan for outcomes-focused regulation, “using the resources available to us”.          

In its Statement of Expectation, the government made it clear to ASIC that the regulator is expected to reduce compliance costs.

The government also recognised the statutory independence of both regulators, but noted they should consider the recommendations of relevant government-established panels, reviews or inquiries.

In its Statement of Intent, ASIC said it was aware of the “burden unnecessary red tape can impose on business and the potential impact of this on productivity”.

“We continue to pursue initiatives to reduce red tape for individuals and businesses,” said ASIC.

“We have already made significant recent progress in reducing the burden of red tape and contributed to the government’s annual $1 billion red tape reduction target.”

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