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TURNBULL GOVERNMENT BOLSTERS ASIC TO PROTECT COOK CONSUMERS

Cook consumers will be better protected from misconduct in Australia’s financial services industry following the Turnbull Government’s $127.2 million reform package to strengthen our financial sector watchdog.

The Turnbull Government understands that the banking and financial system impacts the lives of every Cook resident and we need to ensure that this is a positive interaction and outcome for consumers and customers.

Cook residents should be protected from misconduct with practical and effective policies with a strong regulator. That’s why the Government is boosting powers and funding for our financial services watchdog – the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

The Turnbull Government’s reform measures will equip ASIC with stronger powers and $57 million in funding to enhance surveillance capabilities, boost data analytics and enforcement on an ongoing basis in the areas of financial advice, responsible lending, life insurance and breach reporting.

This funding will increase ASIC’s effectiveness in detecting and responding to misconduct and deliver better outcomes for Cook consumers.

The banks and financial sector will pay for the additional resources, and ASIC’s costs will be fully recovered by the industry, rather than Cook taxpayers, from 2017-18. No longer will taxpayers fund the cop on the beat.

Oversight bodies such as the Financial Ombudsman Service and Superannuation Complaints Tribunal that help Cook residents resolve disputes with financial services providers will be boosted to ensure they are working as effectively as possible and delivering the best possible outcomes for Cook consumers and small businesses.

The Government understands the need to ensure that the people have access to and’ experience of complaint handling services is smooth, simple and fair. The Government is therefore exploring the possibility of a one-stop-shop for handling consumer disputes and complaints.

We will also appoint a new ASIC Commissioner with experience in the prosecution of crimes in the financial services industry.

The Turnbull Government’s actions to bolster ASIC follow our expert Panel to review the capabilities of ASIC.

These new measures and enhanced capabilities for ASIC are part of the Government’s response to the Financial System (Murray) Inquiry which is also helping to ensure ASIC has the powers it needs to protect consumers and perform its function in policing the financial sector.

The work of improving our financial services regulator never stops. Australians deserve a tough and vigilant cop on the beat prepared and equipped to take on those who seek to break the law or take advantage of consumers.

The Turnbull Government will always be working on the side of local customers and consumers in Cook.