A few weeks ago, the ASIC Chair (Mr James Shipton) addressed a parliamentary joint committee on Corporations and Financial Services. During his address, he spoke of ASIC’s intent to be a “strategic and agile regulator, developing and using regulatory tools and remedies, and scaling up the agency to deliver these goals.” Furthermore, Mr Shipton spoke of high community expectations on the entire financial sector right now and that ASIC welcomed the challenge because…
“Australians deserve a fair, strong and efficient financial system”
The question we, and a lot of our clients, are asking is whether ASIC is genuinely representing the ‘real Australian’, or are they simply reacting to recent scrutiny and criticism from the likes of the Royal Commission into Misconduct within Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services and covering their ‘backsides’ via rhetoric?
Of course, it’s easy to attack the tall poppy and say they are simply bureaucrats that shuffle paper around. However, in our view this is an overly convenient argument. Yes, ASIC has failed in the past and especially in regard to the rollout and communication of NCCP and Responsible Lending; but they’ve recently acknowledged this error by launching a review into RG209. There is also an impending update that will apparently provide greater clarity and direction to our industry.
Now, we don’t want to come across as sycophants to ASIC either, but in our view what they stand for is important and designed to protect the ‘real Australian’. The problem we do see, is a past lack of clear communication and enforcement… again though, this is being addressed. For example, in Mr Shipton’s above-mentioned address he listed ASIC’s strategic priorities for the next 12 months as follows:
- High deterrence enforcement actions (ASIC enforcement investigations are up 24% YTD),
- Prioritisation of recommendations and referrals from the Royal Commission,
- Improve outcomes for Superannuation,
- Address harms in insurance,
- Improve industry governance and accountability,
- Protect vulnerable consumers, and
- Address poor financial advice outcomes.
As SalesKey, we passionately believe that efficient and compliant processes ultimately lead to sustainable success and business growth.
Good operators acknowledge and value this too and welcome a strong regulator who ensures a ‘level playing field’ for all. If ASIC can truly deliver on these 7 strategic objectives, plus release a clearer version of RG209 (Responsible Lending Guidelines) then we believe you’d all agree that this will be a fantastic outcome… not just for consumers, but also for all fair Financial Service industry participants.
We founded SalesKey with an objective to share our knowledge of Finance, Lending, Broking and business management and help small to medium business owners in becoming more compliant and therefore stronger. It’s our passion! The changes to the industry and regulatory environment is not about to ‘go away’ or ‘slow up’. We’d love to help you in staying ahead of the game and if there’s any interest in having a quick chat, please don’t hesitate to call on 1800 954 488.
Scott and Darren.