ASIC calls for more funding in order to be effective
(9 November 2018 – Australia) The corporate regulator says it is determined to take more banks to court, but this will come at a cost to the government.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission said in its submission to the interim report from the Hayne inquiry that an “increased focus on pursuing litigation, particularly against larger financial institutions” will require a big boost to its funding.
“A step change in regulatory priority and practice towards criminal and civil court action on a wide range of fronts will likely necessitate a permanent increase in resources provided to ASIC,” it said.
While the Hayne interim report chastised the regulator for timid enforcement laws, ASIC pointed out that its funding has been cut substantially in the federal budget forward estimates and is 34 percent lower than the equivalent conduct regulator in Hong Kong.
After winning several new powers out of the financial system inquiry, ASIC now wants more legal changes to allow it to police lenders more aggressively, including an extension of the Banking Executive Accountability Regime and its product intervention powers to the whole credit sector.