ASIC could soon have the ability to prevent individuals from performing any function within financial services – including management roles.
Treasury has released the sixth position paper of the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce, which concerns ASIC's power to ban senior officials in the financial sector.
At present, ASIC has the ability to ban individuals from performing financial services – but the regulator cannot prevent banned individuals from holding senior management roles.
David Murray's Financial System Inquiry report identified the apparent loophole and it was subsequently taken up by the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce at the urging of the corporate regulator.
The taskforce's first position is that ASIC should be able to ban a person from "performing a specific function in a financial services business, including being a senior manager or controller of a financial services business; and/or performing any function in a financial services business".
Secondly, the taskforce has proposed increasing ASIC's power to ban individuals under section 920A of the Corporations Act to include circumstances where ASIC believes the person is not a fit and proper person, is not qualified, or is not competent to provide financial services (or hold a senior management role).
Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O'Dwyer said the proposed ASIC powers would complement APRA's proposed powers to remove banking executives from their positions (or adjust their remuneration) under the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR).
Industry consultation on the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce paper on ASIC's proposed banning powers closes on 4 October 2017.
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