26 September 2023

ASIC sets out pandemic priorities

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has set out its priorities in tackling the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contained in ASIC’s Interim Corporate Plan, the five measures include protecting consumers from harm at a time of heightened vulnerability; maintaining financial system resilience and stability; supporting Australian businesses; continuing to identify, disrupt and take enforcement action against the most harmful conduct; and continuing to build organisational capacity.

Chair of ASIC, James Shipton (pictured) said the Interim Corporate Plan was a result of ASIC’s modified strategic planning process for the 2020-21 year, in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the financial system.

“Our immediate focus has been on assessing the key vulnerabilities in our regulated sectors in the current environment and developing targeted strategic priorities,” Mr Shipton said.

“The priorities identified enable us to focus on activities that directly address the needs of consumers and firms as they respond to COVID-19”

He said the activities included cross-ASIC working groups on scams, unlicensed advice and misleading advertising; expanding the Commission’s markets supervision work to support fair and orderly operation of markets; and providing relief in relation to capital raising, shareholder meetings and reporting, and financial advice.

“We also seek to ensure there are measures in place to assist consumers who experience hardship, especially in relation to credit and insurance, and that we facilitate access to effective advice when individuals are considering seeking early access to their superannuation,” Mr Shipton said.

The Commission’s 18-page interim plan can be accessed at this PS News link.

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