The ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce was created to assess whether ASIC's enforcement regime is able to “deter misconduct and foster consumer confidence in the financial system”, said financial services minister Kelly O'Dwyer.
"The taskforce will assess the suitability of the existing regulatory tools available to ASIC to perform its functions adequately, whether there is a need to strengthen ASIC's enforcement toolkit and if so, what that might look like," Ms O'Dwyer said.
The taskforce will be led by a panel consisting of members of the Treasury, ASIC, the Attorney General’s Department (AGD) and the office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP), and will be supported by an “expert group” comprised of representatives from industry bodies, consumer groups and academics.
Members of the taskforce include: Treasury principal adviser Kate Mills, ASIC senior executive leader Tim Mullaly, AGD director Booke Hartigan, CDPP deputy director Shane Kirne, Consumer Action Law Centre chief executive Gerard Brody, Law Council of Australia president Stuart Clark, Minter Ellison partner Ross Freeman, UNSW professors Pamela Hanrahan and Dimity Kingsford Smith, and University of Melbourne professor Ian Ramsay.
"The taskforce will report to the Government in 2017 with specific recommendations on whether and what reforms should be progressed to best enhance ASIC's enforcement regime,” Ms O’Dwyer said.
"The government is committed to ensuring that ASIC has the powers it needs to protect consumers and perform its functions as Australia's corporate, markets and financial services regulator.”
The terms of reference state the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce will examine the adequacy of civil and criminal penalties, bans on offenders, notification frameworks and more, and the Treasury said these terms would allow for a “thorough but targeted” review of the current ‘toolkit’.
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