Consultation opens on new ASIC powers

Treasury has released draft legislation on enhancing ASIC's powers, including allowing the regulator to tap the phones of those under investigation.

The new legislation follows on from the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce which made a number of recommendations that would give the regulator enhanced powers, in line with the Crimes Act, in relation to search warrants, the ability to tap phones and licensing and banning orders.

The legislation would allow "interception agencies" to legally provide intercepted material, like recorded phone calls, to ASIC for serious offences so that ASIC can investigate and prosecute.

It also harmonises search warrant powers under different acts to bring them into line with the Crimes Act.

This draft legislation is part of the Government's commitment to deliver on the findings of the Royal Commission.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said in a statement: "The exposure draft legislation is further evidence of the government's commitment to strengthening financial regulators like ASIC, and restoring trust in the financial system as part of our plan to build a stronger economy."

Along with provisions for intercepting material and enhance search warrant powers, the legislation will also strengthen ASIC's licensing powers by increasing the standards required of AFSL holders.

It also extends ASIC's powers to ban people from performing functions in a financial services or credit business, expanding the grounds on which ASIC can ban people.

Finally, giving false or misleading statements in AFS and credit licence applications will be brought into line under the proposed legislation.

Consultation on the legislation is now open and will continue until 9 October 2019.

Read more: Crimes ActASIC Enforcement Review TaskforceRoyal CommissionTreasurer Josh Frydenberg
Link to something kCs07pJD