Each year, ASIC publishes business plans relevant to each sector it regulates which provide insight into ASIC’s key projects relating to:
areas of surveillance;
areas of enforcement; and
These business plans complement ASIC's Corporate Plan which was published on 31 August 2017.
Business Plans and Cross-Sector Project Business Plans
The business plans published by ASIC include:
Along with sector specific business plans, ASIC has also released three cross-sector project business plans on:
Key Points from Business Plans
We recommend reviewing the full business plans relevant to your business sector. However, by way of summary, we have outlined ASIC’s key areas of focus in regards to guidance, surveillance and enforcement, for the coming financial year.
In relation to future guidance, ASIC will endeavour to:
Update regulatory guidance and publish reports on surveillance outcomes and thematic reviews to articulate standards and expectations; as well as
Improve accountants' understanding of their Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence and compliance obligations to ensure proper transition to the AFS licensing regime.
In terms of surveillance, ASIC will be particularly focusing on the following:
Accountants that have entered the financial advice industry and are providing unlicensed financial advice;
Responsible lending practices among brokers and lenders with high proportions of interest–only loans;
Loan fraud, particularly in the home loan market, to improve industry practices;
Unfair contract terms in small business loans;
The mis-selling of credit products to vulnerable consumers; and
Advertising materials containing misleading and deceptive conduct and false and misleading representations.
ASIC will be investigating and taking action, where appropriate, in relation to misconduct concerning (but not limited to):
unfair contract terms;
illegal phoenix activity;
failure to lodge Annual Financial Reports;
failure to lodge Annual Compliance Certificate;
directors with dishonesty convictions;
SME registered liquidators’ independence, competence and improper gain;
unlicensed conduct by accountants providing financial advice; and
licensees that fail to correct or update information on the Financial Adviser Register.
Cowell Clarke has extensive knowledge of the financial services regulatory framework and can advise you on your licensing obligations. Please contact Hillary Ray.