ASIC doing what it can to stay ahead of the regulatory game – Senate inquiry ongoing…

The Australian Senate is doing an inquiry into the performance of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

ASIC has been busy lately proving their worthiness as competent financial regulators. The watchdog is currently in the midst of a Senate inquiry into its activities and overall performance.

A detailed statement from ASIC covers six issues, which are:

1. How ASIC identifies emerging risks
2. The timeliness of our enforcement work
3. Misperceptions that we only take on either small entities or the big end of town
4. The high quality of our staff
5. An update on Commonwealth Financial Planning bannings – there are now eight following the banning of Mr Zaicew last week, and
6. The initiatives we have put in place to improve our processes and services in response to this Inquiry

ASIC is looking for expanded powers to beef up its range of heavy handedness when it comes to keeping the financial system of Australia running properly, from the retail level all the way up to systematic risk which would threaten the overall economy. Most important out of all of the attention in Australia on ASIC was echoed by the Securities and Investments Commission. They warned that failure to keep pace with international regulatory standards could exclude big players from participating in Australian markets.

ASIC has recently has chastised financial advisers in Australia for which they said “too many bad apples” are operating. This was hit back hard from the investment community which said it is nothing out of the ordinary. ASIC has also recently joined the worldwide forex rigging scandal and launched a formal investigation, “We are aware of the reports of international regulatory enquiries on potential misconduct in other jurisdictions in relation to the FX market,” Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) spokesman Andre Khoury told Reuters in mid-March.

Furthermore, ASIC has also been busy looking into HFT curbs and recently stated they are willing resurrect the idea of implementing a 500 millisecond pause on trades in an effort to put the brakes on high-frequency trading (HFT).

When it comes to specifically forex, ASIC for months has been in discussions with certain industry participants in Australia as it prepares its final guidelines for regulating auto and copy trading. While still not finalized in either instance, it appears as if both ASIC and the FCA will require anyone directing the investing and trading of client money, such as copy and mirror trade leaders as well as PAMM managers, to have an appropriate money managers’ license, whether or not they actually hold client funds.

We will follow up exactly if anything new will come out of the recent Senate inquiries into ASIC and their activities and the potential impact on the forex market in particular and the general financial markets in Australia as a whole. All of the attention and activities of ASIC recently is done out of country’s leaders desire to position Australia as a 1st class developed economy with top tier financial markets and regulatory environment  to spur business in the Asia-Pacific region. They are in as better place as any jurisdiction to capitalize in the boom all across Asia.

For more on the global Forex industry see the LeapRate-Dow Jones Forex Industry Report.

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