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ASIC’s Plans To Investigate Scams & Exploitive Lending

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, a report revealed Australians lost a record $3.1 billion to scams last year, which has triggered the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) to prioritise within its 2023-2024 corporate plan to investigate scams and businesses maliciously targeting customers.

With scams on the rise, the ASIC said its corporate plan will focus on prevention, like educating consumers and addressing any wrongdoing like investigating unfair contracts.

The ASIC will also have a concentration in its corporate plan to review crypto-related assets. Additionally, the corporate regulator will also oversee cyber risk persuasions to ensure regulated entities are taking them to guarantee their resilience.

The ASIC chair Joe Longo, said there is a whole host of priorities that the regulator is looking at this year and next, including mishandling of retirement accounts.

“We will take strong action against misleading conduct and poor governance in the superannuation sector, especially where misconduct erodes members’ balances,” he said.

Specifically, he said the ASIC would have a closer look at ASX’s CHESS replacement program and the Reserve Bank because it was “seeking assurance that any gaps or deficiencies are addressed before ASX pushes forward on its new solution and any other future programs”.

According to the Australian Business Review, Longo also shared that a primary focus over the next four years will be supervising the rollout of a new corporate structure for ASIC to ensure maximum efficiency, including investing in staffing and improvements.

Before releasing the yearly ASIC corporate plan, a regulator was made to face parliament over its failing enforcement record, resulting in several key executives exiting. Since the hearing, however, government officials appointed three new commissioners to replace staff who had left the ASIC.

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