Government edges towards regulator cooperation

Draft legislation compelling ASIC and APRA to work with one another in overseeing the financial services industry is open for consultation.

The government has taken a major step towards ensuring the cooperation of the corporate and prudential regulators, opening a period of consultation on draft legislation implementing the recommendation of Royal Commissioner Kenneth Hayne that the regulators be bound by a statutory obligation to work together.

The Financial Regulator Reform (No.2) Bill 2019 will see ASIC and APRA co-operate with one another, including sharing information "to the maximum extent practicable", and notifying each other whenever one believes a breach of the law has occurred under the responsibility of the other.

The government said the new provisions would allow the regulators to "support each other in discharging their regulatory functions effectively", and added the measure was designed to ensure no barriers would impede their attempts to share information.

Additionally, the bill will amend the ASIC Act to bring its meeting procedures into line with those of APRA, another recommendation made by Hayne.

Hayne's assessment of the financial services regulators in the Commission's final report was scathing, recommending the adjustment of their roles when it comes to the oversight of superannuation, and the establishment of a new independent body to oversee the regulators.

According to the government's Royal Commission implementation roadmap, legislation establishing the new oversight authority is due to be consulted on and introduced to Parliament before June 30.

Consultation on the recently introduced legislation closes on January 24.

Read more: APRAGovernmentRoyal CommissionKenneth HayneASIC ActFinancial Regulator Reform
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