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Australian Securities and Investments Commission to face two-year Senate inquiry into complaints handling

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“The Hayne Royal Commission into the financial sector produced a huge body of evidence highlighting ASIC’s failings. “Too many Australians have been affected by the continued failure to enforce the law,” he said.

“It is time to look much more closely at ASIC’s enforcement record and capabilities. ASIC must improve on its single enforcement work or the integrity of our financial system is at risk.

Liberal senator Andrew Bragg says ASIC is failing to comply with federal laws.credit:James Brickwood

“By establishing this new request, the Senate is supporting consumers and small businesses. This inquiry will give Australians a voice.”

Adams said he was pleased the Senate had backed the inquiry, adding it should look into ASIC’s handling of complaints from the public and whistleblowers.

“It is critical to understand why ASIC opened 53% fewer formal investigations in 2021-22 compared to 2014-15, even though they have more staff and financial resources,” he said.

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“Furthermore, it is significant that ASIC rejects an average of 91 per cent of whistleblower reports. It makes a mockery of the whistleblower public policy regime and gives potential whistleblowers little confidence in exposing corruption in Australia.”

But Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones said the inquiry did not make much sense given the number of ways complaints can be lodged against ASIC.

He said ASIC had already gone through both the Senate and the Standing Oversight Committee.

Jones will likely ask the Senate to overturn the decision, but is unlikely to succeed as the request was supported by a 43-20 vote.

“Whether you’re a supporter of ASIC or a critic of ASIC, it just doesn’t make sense,” he said.

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https://www.watoday.com.au/politics/federal/corporate-watchdog-to-be-grilled-over-its-handling-of-complaints-20221027-p5bte7.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_feed

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