Push to have competition regulator oversee the banks
(15 October 2018 – Australia) There is growing support to give the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission a greater role in policing the banks in the wake of the interim report from the financial services royal commission.
The push is being led by economists and regulatory experts as well as the Green party, putting pressure on both sides of federal politics to engage the competition regulator, despite the move being deeply opposed by incumbent regulators.
The debate has escalated in the wake of the stinging criticism of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in the financial services royal commission interim report and focuses on removing carve-outs from the Australian Competition and Consumer Act that exclude the ACCC from enforcing financial services and products.
Competition experts argue the ACCC is well positioned to do more and should be included on the Council of Financial Regulators, especially given the failure of incumbent regulators.
Regulatory expert Professor Allan Fels said, “To rely on ASIX alone to resolve the numerous regulatory shortfalls exposed is putting too many eggs in one basket. Over the years various ministers announce they will make ASIC more effective and it never works.”