According to the Treasury, Asic would be given the power to approve codes of conduct for all institutions regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Apra).
The consultation said that Asic can only approve industry codes of conduct that relate to the activities of financial services licensees; authorised representatives of the licensees; or issuers of financial products.
The report’s suggestions
The extension of powers is based on a specific point made in the Royal Commission report – namely recommendation 1.15 – which says that the law should be amended to provide:
- That Asic’s power to approve codes of conduct extends to codes relating to all Apra-regulated institutions and Australian Credit Licence holders;
- That industry codes of conduct approved by Asic may include ‘enforceable code provisions’, which are provisions in respect of which a contravention will constitute a breach of the law;
- That Asic may take into consideration whether particular provisions of an industry code of conduct have been designated as ‘enforceable code provisions’ in determining whether to approve a code;
- For remedies […] for breach of an ‘enforceable code provision’; and
- For the establishment and imposition of mandatory financial services industry codes.
Picking and choosing?
However, the report also suggested the creation of a single disciplinary body since the existing ones were deemed “fragmented” and with an “unsatisfactory” scope.
It is unclear whether this is only part of the measures based on the recommendations made by the Royal Commission.