The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has published its Corporate Plan for the next four years today, outlining its strategies and priorities for the 2020-24 period.
Unsurprisingly, the Australian regulator will be focusing on the coronavirus pandemic, indicating that the regulator expects COVID-19 will have an impact on the financial markets for some time.
In particular, ASIC outlined the actions it will take to address the long-term impact of the pandemic. These actions are guided by five strategic priorities:
- protecting consumers from harm at a time of heightened vulnerability;
- maintaining financial system resilience and stability;
- supporting Australian businesses to respond to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic;
- continuing to identify, disrupt and take enforcement action against the most harmful conduct; and
- continuing to build our organisational capacity in challenging times.
However, the watchdog is not just focusing on COVID-19 over the next four years. The regulator will also be aiming to deter poor behaviour and misconduct via its ‘Why not litigate?’ discipline.
Additionally, the authority will be focusing on reducing misconduct by company directors and professional service providers, improve risk management, and promote a healthy financial system and economic growth.
Commenting on the Corporate Plan, ASIC’s Chair, James Shipton said in the statement: “Our core purpose is to ensure confidence in a financial system that, even under stress, can remain fair, strong and efficient. Confidence is the bedrock of the economic recovery process.
“This is the purpose of all our work, both in the immediate context of the pandemic and beyond it. We will continue to respond rapidly and strategically to the threats arising in an uncertain environment.”