20 April 2016
Sydney, 20 April 2016: The Australian Bankers’ Association has today supported the expanded powers and increased resources for ASIC announced by the Federal Government.
“A well-resourced regulator keeps the industry accountable and helps to underpin a healthy, stable economy,” ABA Chief Executive Steven Münchenberg said.
“We support the introduction of a new industry funding model for ASIC. It’s important that contributions are transparent and that the amount of fees levied matches the level of regulation and resources required for ASIC.
“Aligning the new funding model with the expanded role of ASIC will also be important to ensure regulation is effective, efficient and necessary,” he said.
“The extension of Mr Greg Medcraft’s term as Chair will help continuity with the range of reforms affecting the banking and financial services industry, in particular the implementation of recommendations from the Financial System Inquiry.
“The banking industry supports, in principle, the product intervention power for ASIC to bolster consumer protections. However, we need to be wary of any action that may have unintended consequences and adversely impact on product innovation or consumer choice.
“We also support a new obligation on product manufacturers, including banks and other financial institutions, to ensure design and distribution of financial products meets the needs of all consumers.”
“The ABA looks forward to progressing the Government’s reform agenda and working with ASIC to enhance consumer protections.
“Australia’s banks will continue to ensure customers are treated fairly and receive the best possible outcomes. Expanding ASIC’s role is complementary to this,” Mr Münchenberg said.
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“Australian banks are certainly better equipped now than they were in the GFC. They’ve got 2 to 2.5 times the capital reserves put aside for a rainy day than they had in the GFC”
“The Australian Banking Association (ABA) welcomes the agreement reached today on the proposed safeguard mechanism reforms, given it paves the way for the passing of a critical piece of legislation for Australia.
“This is about engaging with the entire banking ecosystem in order to ensure the accessibility of the sector’s services are best serving our diverse community now, and into the future.”