Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Deputy Chair Sarah Court announced the corporate watchdog’s 2023 priorities at the recent ASIC Annual Forum in Sydney.
While ASIC’s specific areas of target change every year, five enduring priorities remain to keep up with shifting economic factors and the volatile risk environment. Focusing on insurance, ASIC aims to address the failures in the general insurance industry to honour promises to consumers, as well as unfair contract terms in insurance products. In the superannuation sector, it will investigate and address misleading conduct and poor governance.
Other priorities for 2023 include:
Misconduct damaging to market integrity, including insider trading, continuous disclosure failures, and market manipulation;
Misconduct impacting First Nations people;
Misconduct involving a high risk of significant consumer harm, particularly conduct targeting financially vulnerable consumers;
Systemic compliance failures by large financial institutions resulting in widespread consumer harm; and
New or emerging conduct risks within the financial system.
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Court said the priorities for next year highlight the need to protect consumers from financial harm and uphold the integrity of Australia’s financial markets.
“This is the first time ASIC has identified particular areas of enforcement focus, which we now expect to do on an annual basis. These priorities communicate our intent to industry and our stakeholders and give a clear indication of where we will direct our resources and expertise,” she said.
“ASIC’s enforcement work will not be limited to these priorities, and these may evolve as new and emerging issues or products come to our attention. We will continue to direct our enforcement resources to ensure we maintain a fair, strong, and efficient financial system for all Australians.”