ASIC to monitor financial services competition

The Financial Services Minister has announced that the Government’s new Statement of Expectations for ASIC will include consideration of financial services competition.

UPDATE: The Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing ASIC’s Capabilities) Bill 2018 was introduced into the House of Representatives on 28 March 2018.

UPDATE:  Bill passed and assented 3 October 2018.

The new Statement of Expectations acknowledges that ASIC, as the market conduct regulator, has the challenging task of balancing several objectives aimed at facilitating efficient capital markets and promoting trust and confidence in the financial system.

The new Statement of Expectations will reflect a new competition mandate for ASIC on the basis of the Government’s view that ultimately it is competition – not regulation – that is the best means of ensuring consumers get value for money in financial services.

This new mandate will require ASIC to consider the effect that its work and the exercise of its powers will have on competition in the financial system.

ASIC’s mandate will complement the Productivity Commission’s review of competition in Australia’s financial system and funding the ACCC to undertake in-depth inquiries into specific financial system competition issues (including mortgage pricing).

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