The ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce has released position and consultation papers on the following which warrant close review by industry in relation to their impact:

ASIC’s Access to Telecommunications Intercept Material

  • This contains proposed reforms to enhance ASIC’s access to telephone intercepts for the investigation and prosecution of serious corporate law offences. The reforms would enhance ASIC’s access to, and use of, material intercepted under an interception warrant, issued to another agency where it is relevant to ASIC’s investigation and prosecution of serious corporations offences (e.g insider trading, market manipulation and financial services fraud). Submissions close 17 August 2017. See consultation paper

 Harmonisation and enhancement of ASIC’s search warrant powers

  • This examines the adequacy of ASIC’s information gathering powers and the need to grant equivalent Federal Crimes Act search warrant powers for market misconduct or other serious offences. It is designed to harmonise and strengthen ASIC’s powers by aligning them with those available to other law enforcement agencies and regulators such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. It also widens the scope of material that may be subject to search and seizure activity. See consultation paper.

Strengthening ASIC licensing powers

  • The proposals seek to strengthen ASIC’s licensing powers by allowing it to take appropriate action to refuse to grant, or suspend or cancel a licence where applicants or existing licensees (or those who control them) are not assessed by ASIC as being fit and proper to be licensees. This is to enable ASIC to deal more effectively with poor behaviour and misconduct. See consultation paper.

 Industry codes in the financial services industry.

  •  This considers whether self-regulatory initiatives such as industry codes are achieving their potential, and whether that potential could better be achieved by the introduction of a co-regulatory model. Under such a model, industry participants would be required to subscribe to an ASIC approved code, and in the event of non-compliance with the code an individual customer would be entitled to seek appropriate redress through the participant’s internal and external dispute resolution arrangements. See consultation paper.

For further information on the Taskforce refer to Treasury’s website.

For a full summary of the issues, email us a request at [email protected]


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