BEAR: ASIC seeks to widen its powers

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s Enforcement Review Taskforce has released a new position paper seeking to enhance its banning powers against senior officials in the financial sector.

Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer says: ‘The Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) will ensure banks and their senior executives and directors are held accountable when they fail to meet community expectations, including through stronger powers for the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority to remove and disqualify senior executives and directors and through new civil penalties. 

‘The [ASIC Enforcement Review] Taskforce positions would complement BEAR by enhancing ASIC’s power to hold individuals in the financial services and credit sectors to account for their conduct, in line with the conclusions of the Murray Inquiry.’

ASIC has the power to ban individuals from providing financial services in certain circumstances, for example, where the individual has breached a financial services law, has been convicted of fraud, is not of ‘good fame or character’ or is not adequately trained or competent to provide financial services.

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