Banks to foot $121m bill for ASIC

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has this morning confirmed how the government will proceed with reported changes to surveillance of the banking and financial system, following speculation of a major shake-up.

After several days of speculation, Mr Morrison has this morning confirmed that the banks will be expected to foot a $121 million bill to increase the resources of the corporate regulator.

According to the Australian Financial Review, this includes $61 million for enhanced data analytics and surveillance capabilities and $57 million for increased surveillance and investigation and prosecutional capacities.

As widely reported, ASIC’s head Greg Medcraft’s term, which was drawing to a close, will be extended for a further 18 months.

Further, there will be an appointment of an additional commissioner to ASIC who has special expertise in prosecution.

ASIC will also be exempt from the public service act, in an effort to make it easier to recruit people from the corporate sector.

The government will also recommend that the financial services ombudsman changes its thresholds to provide greater access for treatment of claims and compliance.

In addition, Mr Morrison announced there will be another review which looks at the broader ranging tribunal models that could be considered by the government "to ensure that people's complaints can get to a point of mediation and consideration" within a reasonable period of time without having use lawyers,” The Australian Financial Review is reporting.

ASIC welcomed the announcement in a media release today, saying it will enable “ffurther surveillance and enforcement in areas such as financial planning, responsible lending, life insurance, and misconduct and breach reporting.”

“It will also allow us to build our technological capacity to identify and assess risks and market misconduct,' said Mr Medcraft.

“ASIC has long believed that those who generate the need for regulation should pay for it,” he added.

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