18 September 2018
Media Release - #2018010, 2018

Passage of government’s action to enhance ASIC’s capabilities

Joint media release with
The Hon Stuart Robert MP
Assistant Treasurer

The Morrison Government is committed to delivering strong and effective regulators to govern our financial system. This is the best way to ensuring that Australia’s financial system both protects and meets the needs of Australian consumers and investors.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing ASIC’s Capabilities) Bill 2018 successfully passed through the Parliament last night.

These amendments enhance the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) capabilities, by providing it with greater operational flexibility and making express provision for ASIC to consider competition in its decision-making processes.

Removing the obligation for ASIC to engage staff under the Public Service Act 1999 means ASIC will be able to compete more effectively for suitable staff. It will also allow ASIC to tailor management and staffing arrangements to suit its needs, ensuring it is fit for purpose to deliver effectively on its mandate.

This amendment brings ASIC into line with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Reserve Bank of Australia. ASIC will now have the ability to attract and retain the most appropriate people, to achieve its short and long-term priorities.

The Bill also ensures that ASIC consider the effects that the performance of its functions and the exercise of its powers will have on competition in the financial system.

Competition is critical in improving the performance of the financial system. It ensures that both consumers and investors get value for money in the in financial products and services they use.

This Bill enacts key recommendations from the Financial System Inquiry and the ASIC Capability Review. It is further evidence of this Government’s commitment to strengthening ASIC, to ensure the financial system delivers fair and optimal outcomes for all Australians.