The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has recalibrated regulatory priorities to address the challenges posed by Covid-19 outbreak.
The move includes suspending activities which are not time-critical as well as halting enhanced on-site supervisory work.
The regulator will focus on time-critical matters, violations and addressing risks to market integrity and consumers.
In a statement, ASIC noted that such activities will receive priority at least till 30 September 2020.
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“ASIC is committed to working constructively and pragmatically with the firms we regulate, mindful they may encounter difficulties in complying with their regulatory obligations due to the impact of Covid-19,” the statement noted.
ASIC will also work to provide regulatory relief as well as help financial institutions to clear outstanding remediation to customers.
It has also issued new guidance to its staff for issuing information-gathering notices.
The statement further added: “ASIC will maintain its enforcement activities and continue to investigate and take action where the public interest warrants us to do so against any person or entity that breaks the law.
“However, it will focus on action necessary to prevent immediate consumer harm, egregious illegal conduct and other time critical matters.”
An independent government body, ASIC acts as a corporate regulator and enforces financial services laws.
In December last year, the regulator published a report highlighting widespread non-compliance of fee disclosure obligations by financial advisers.