ASIC publishes 2021-22 Annual Report

The report covers a year of significant law reforms, chair says

ASIC publishes 2021-22 Annual Report


By Mina Martin

ASIC has released its Annual Report, which outlines the corporate watchdog’s key regulatory and enforcement outcomes for 2021–22 – “a year of significant law reforms following on from the Financial Services Royal Commission,” ASIC Chair Joe Longo said.

During the 2021-22 financial year, Australia’s corporate and markets regulator secured $229.9 million in civil penalties and convictions against 33 individuals.   

“We have worked with industry to bed down significant reforms which offer consumers and investors greater protection from poor behaviour, through more rigorous accountability and obligations on providers of financial services,” Longo said. “The magnitude of harm revealed during the FSRC and other recent inquiries has led to a considered expansion of the tools we have available to detect and deter wrongdoing in this sector.” 

Significant new obligations in ASIC’s regulatory environment introduced in 2021-22 include: 

  • design and distribution obligations, focused on protecting consumers’ interests and reducing the risk of harm caused by poor design, distribution, and marketing 
  • the breach reporting regime, which recognises the important role of licensees in identifying and reporting breaches in a timely manner and provides a critical source of intelligence for ASIC  
  • the hawking prohibition, designed to tackle consumer harms arising from consumers being approached with unwanted products through cold-calls or other unsolicited contact 
  • deferred sales model, aimed at improving consumer outcomes in the add-on insurance market.  

“Looking ahead, our corporate plan flags our near- and medium-term priorities to focus on areas of increasing risk of consumer harm, including greenwashing claims and crypto investment scams,” Longo said. “It also sets out our sharpened focus on the superannuation industry and our international work supporting consistency in standards of climate change and sustainability reporting by corporations.”

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