The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics has confirmed it will hold its first public hearings into ASIC, APRA and the ACCC on Tuesday.
ASIC chair Joe Longo, APRA chair Wayne Byres and ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb will all give evidence before the committee in a full day of hearings.
Labor MP Daniel Mulino, who is chairing the committee, said that the scrutiny of Australia’s financial system regulators was crucial to ensuring the nation’s economic resilience.
“While the Optus data breach has caused immense concern to the millions of Australians affected, it should also be a wake-up call to the corporate sector generally that robust systems are critical, regardless of the industry,” he said.
“And as a committee, we need to make sure that the key regulators of the corporate sector are doing what is required, and expected of them, to protect all Australians. The data breach has shown how vulnerable Australians can be.”
Reserve Bank (RBA) governor Philip Lowe has already fronted the committee to discuss the central bank’s recent decisions regarding interest rate policy, the challenges of tackling high inflation and its approach to returning inflation to the 2 to 3 per cent range over time.
Dr Lowe’s statement, which was made before the RBA’s surprise decision to pivot and opt for a 25 basis point interest rate increase this month, reiterated that the central bank plans to continue hiking rates until it is confident that higher inflation will not become entrenched.
The governor addressed criticism that the RBA had provided too much support during the pandemic, arguing that “in those dark days of the pandemic, the RBA Board judged that the bigger policy mistake would have been to do too little, rather than too much”.
Dr Mulino stated that regulators needed to remain on the front foot in light of the challenges now facing the economy including cost pressures, skills shortages, competition concerns, uneven super fund performance, failing neo banks, the rise of finfluencers and greenwashing.
International factors also pose challenges, Dr Mulino said, with deterioration in the global economy, heightened uncertainty, the war in Ukraine and significant supply chain impacts.
“The committee will be probing the supervision and enforcement activities of the ACCC, APRA and ASIC, as well as their policy development and governance processes,” he said.
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.