28 March 2018
Media Release - #2018030, 2018

Government takes action to enhance ASIC’s capabilities

The Turnbull Government has today introduced legislation into the Parliament to enhance the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC’s) capabilities, by providing it with greater operational flexibility and making express provision for the regulator to consider competition in its decision‑making processes.

Removing the requirement for ASIC to employ people under the Public Service Act 1999 will give ASIC greater operational flexibility and brings ASIC into line with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). ASIC will now have the ability to attract and retain the most appropriate people, to achieve its short and long‑term priorities.

“To be able to perform their roles effectively in accordance with their legislative mandate, regulators need to be able to attract and retain suitably skilled and experienced staff,” the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said.

Competition in the financial system is critical to ensuring the system delivers good outcomes for Australians. Competition puts strong discipline on businesses to lower costs associated with the delivery of financial products and services. It further encourages innovation and deployment of new technology, and delivers more choice for consumers, at lower prices.

“Ultimately it is competition – not regulation – that is the best means of ensuring that consumers and investors get value for money in financial products and services. Both consumers and financial product and service providers – particularly new entrants – benefit from a more competitive financial system,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

The Turnbull 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.

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.

Further information about the Bill can be viewed on the Australian Parliament House website.