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ASIC secures $70 million funding boost

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will receive an extra $70.1 million to help combat misconduct.

The funding injection follows a decision by new Chairman James Shipton to refocus on “proactive” enforcement and increased on-site supervision, the Government says.

The package provides $26.2 million to enhance ASIC’s capacity to “pursue actions for serious misconduct against well-funded litigants”.

It will also receive $6.8 million for a taskforce to identify and pursue corporate governance failings in large listed companies, with the role to include deploying staff for on-site surveillance and investigations.

There is $6.6 million for whistleblower protection law reforms and $6 million to promote Australia as a leader in financial services regulatory technology.

The big four banks and AMP are singled out, with $8 million for a supervisory approach that will, for the first time, embed ASIC staff to monitor governance and compliance.

Funding is also directed towards improved consumer access to the Financial Advisers Register, enforcement of unfair contract term protections for small business, and compliance with Future of Financial Advice laws.

ASIC has drawn fire for failing to adequately fight poor corporate behaviour, after revelations during the Hayne royal commission on financial services misconduct.