ASIC, Auditing

ASIC outlines four-year priorities

ASIC retirement retirement decision-making

ASIC has nominated retirement decision-making and the supervision of SMSF auditors as priority areas for the be next four years.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has made public its priorities for the coming four years, highlighting retirement decision-making as an area of focus.

With regard to this topic, the corporate regulator stated its aim will be to protect consumers when they are making decisions on their retirement and in doing so will pay particular attention to superannuation, financial advice and managed investments.

The other three strategic priorities the regulator has nominated for itself in the immediate future are product design and distribution, sustainable finance and technology risks.

The “ASIC Corporate Plan 2022-26” also revealed other areas in which it would perform strategic work.

With reference to financial services, the administration of advice registration was given top priority with ASIC aiming to engage with licensees and advisers to ensure they understand and comply with their new registration obligations. This is expected to take place over the coming year.

The corporate watchdog also committed to refresh its supervision of SMSF auditors. This will be done through replacing the auditor exam, updating the competency standard, enhancing the co-regulation process regarding SMSF auditors with the ATO and refining decision-making processes and templates. This is likely to be done within the next 18 months.

The administration of the financial adviser exam was also singled out as a strategic area of focus. To this end, the regulator is expecting within in the next two years to review the Financial Advisers Register to ensure it aligns with the practitioners who have successfully completed the required exam by the relevant date and communicate with licensees who have not kept the register current.

“ASIC will take strong and targeted enforcement action to protect consumers and investors and to maintain trust and integrity in the financial system,” ASIC chair Joe Longo said.

“ASIC is looking to the longer term and planning over the next four years. But we’ve seen that scenarios can change quickly. We remain alert to changes and developments in our operating and regulatory environment, and we will continue to make rapid, strategic decisions to adapt where needed. When we do so, it will be transparent.”

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