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Continued ASIC leadership fundamental

The mix of skills, knowledge and experience of Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) commissioners is crucial for the corporate regulator’s ongoing direction and administration of powers, Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer has said.

Appointed last year, James Shipton has now stepped into the new role as ASIC chair.

“I am sure James will bring to this important job his considerable experience in corporate regulation, both as a practitioner and in academia, as well as a regulator,” O’Dwyer told the ASIC Annual Forum 2018 in Sydney today.

“We have recognised that James brings a strong set of skills and international experience to the role of ASIC chair and I would like to announce today that the government also intends to create a second deputy chair position in ASIC to build on and strengthen ASIC’s leadership.”

She said adding a second deputy chair will provide the regulator with greater flexibility to administer its new powers and increased responsibilities resulting from recent law changes, as well as bring ASIC in line with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

“I am currently seeking the required approvals under the Corporations Agreement with the states and territories, and intend to introduce legislation to make the necessary amendments to the ASIC Act in the coming weeks,” she revealed.

“The government will make an announcement regarding the new deputy chair on introduction of the legislation.”

Current ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell and commissioner John Price have been reappointed to their roles.

O’Dwyer also highlighted developments with the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).

“I am pleased to note that shortly FASEA will be releasing new draft guidance on the education pathways for all existing advisers,” she said.

“However, it is important to remember why these reforms are necessary – repeated instances of inappropriate or just plain bad advice has significantly eroded trust and confidence in the financial advice sector.

“Every adviser has a role to play in rebuilding that trust and these new educational requirements are a critical step towards professionalising the sector.

“Ultimately, the professionalisation of the advice sector will be in the best interests of all advisers, existing and new, because it will ensure enduring consumer trust and confidence in the financial advice sector.”

The consultation on FASEA’s draft guidance will be open until the end of June.

FASEA was established by the Turnbull government last year to raise the education, training and ethical standards of financial advisers.

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