ASIC’s Longo ready to pick his fights (except on crypto) – The Australian Financial Review

ASIC’s Longo ready to pick his fights (except on crypto) – The Australian Financial Review

“ASIC is not here to eliminate risk. Risk-taking and encouraging innovation is an essential part of Australia’s financial system and economy,” Longo said. “But where industry has neglected to take its share of responsibility, ASIC will not hesitate to deploy the powers in our regulatory toolkit – to deter misconduct that causes harm, hold to account individuals and corporations that treat their responsibilities as optional, and drive a culture of better corporate behaviour.”

(To this end, Longo’s speech on Monday contained a lovely little drive-by against those in the room, when he questioned the super sector’s record on mischarging members and properly managing conflicts. “The superannuation industry is here to serve Australians – not the superannuation industry.”)

‘Hayne is in the past’

Longo doesn’t resile from the fact that the approach of ASIC will be different from that proposed by Shipton. The regulator, he said, had heard and taken on board Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s suggestion it was too soft in the past. But by the same token, Longo was firm that “Hayne is in the past”.

Monday brought a neat example of this, with Longo’s speech coinciding with the release of updated regulatory guidance on how ASIC will use court enforceable undertakings.

Longo acknowledged that Hayne criticised ASIC’s use and enforcement of EUs, and they have largely faded from view since the royal commission. But Longo says they remain a valuable tool and one he’s prepared to use in the right circumstances.

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On face value, Longo’s
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