Inaugural review of ASIC recommends improvements

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Inaugural review of ASIC recommends improvements

29 August 2022

A review of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) by an authority formed in response to the Hayne royal commission has recommended the regulator improve its technological capabilities and quality of engagement.

The Financial Regulator Assessment Authority (FRAA) was put in place last year to report on the effectiveness and capability of Australia’s twin financial regulators.

“FRAA considers that ASIC is generally effective and capable in the areas reviewed, although there are important opportunities to enhance its performance,” FRAA’s inaugural report says.

Recommendations say ASIC requires a “substantial uplift” in its data and technology capability, which will involve cultural change, and that it should have a stronger focus across the organisation on enhancing the quality of its engagement with stakeholders.

It also recommends that ASIC enhance its ability to measure its effectiveness and capability and continue to broaden its mix of skill sets.

ASIC has started to communicate its priorities more clearly and use innovative channels to communicate emerging harms, and has indicated it will review its approach to external engagement, FRAA says.

“FRAA considers that ASIC will need to complement these initiatives with a mindset that sees it become more transparent, open and responsive to feedback from stakeholders,” it says.

ASIC Chairman Joe Longo says the recommendations align with his priorities and several initiatives are underway that reflect FRAA’s proposals.

“We need to keep pace in an environment of accelerated change in order to be a confident and ambitious regulator,” he said.

‘We will continue to implement the FRAA’s findings in our future work. We will always be committed to ongoing improvement of our effectiveness and capability to become an even stronger regulator, trusted by the community and always looking ahead.”

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FRAA’s mandate also includes overseeing the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.