ASIC to recalibrate its regulatory priorities to focus on COVID-19 challenges

Earlier this week, ASIC announced that it would recalibrate its regulatory priorities to focus on challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, in coordination with the Council of Financial Regulators.

Until at least 30 September 2020, the other matters that ASIC will afford priority are where there is the risk of significant consumer harm, severe breaches of the law, risks to market integrity and time-critical issues.

  • ASIC has suspended several near-term activities that were deemed not time-critical, including consultation, regulatory reports and reviews, such as the ASIC report on executive remuneration, updated internal dispute resolution guidance and a consultation paper on managed discretionary accounts. 
  • ASIC announced that it would also suspend its enhanced on-site supervisory work such as the Close and Continuous Monitoring Program.
  • Where warranted, relief or waivers from regulatory requirements will also be provided. This will include requirements on listed companies associated with secondary capital raising and audits.

However, ASIC will maintain its enforcement activities and continue to investigate and take action against any person or entity that breaks the law. Still, it will focus on work necessary to prevent immediate consumer harm, egregious illegal conduct and other time-critical matters.

Usual functions will be maintained including registry operations and services, receipt of whistleblower, breach and misconduct reports and general contact points for the industry.