Interim report issued by Senate Committee inquiring into ASIC’s performance

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May 292014

The Senate Economics References Committee has tabled a short interim report outlining its reasons for seeking an extension of time to present its final report on its inquiry into the performance of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The Committee was due to report by 30 May 2014 but has asked for an extension to 26 June 2014. In its interim report the Committee says, amongst other things:

“This is an important inquiry. The size and growth of Australia’s financial sector and the fact that millions of Australians are involved in it, not least because of compulsory superannuation, makes it essential that modern and adaptable regulations are in place and regulators such as ASIC are at the top of their game…. Many of the people who wrote to the committee recounted their experiences of receiving bad financial advice, of unknowingly being placed in high-risk investments, of having documents forged and signatures used improperly. They referred to serious financial losses and difficulties in having their complaints addressed. In their view, the regulatory framework and the regulator had failed to protect their interests…. The committee was well advanced in preparing its report, when on 16 May 2014, ASIC and the CBA advised the committee that there were inconsistences in the way in which the compensation arrangements for CFP clients had been applied. This revelation suggested that, for some time, the CBA had not kept either the committee or ASIC fully informed about the compensation process for clients affected by serious misconduct within CBA’s businesses (see attachments)…. The latest information that ASIC and the CBA provided to the committee in order to correct the record was sketchy and left many key questions unanswered…. Concerned that it may still not have a correct understanding of what has happened, the committee has sought additional information and clarification from both ASIC and the bank on this matter of central importance to the committee’s inquiry and report.”

Sources and links

Email of 28 May 2014 from Committee to all submitters and witnesses.

Copy of the interim report in pdf format.

Committee webpage with full details of its inquiry into ASIC