ASIC to stretch bank board crackdown to cover big listed companies

15 January 2020

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has been cracking down on bank boards and culture and will now extend that to big listed companies.

ASIC chairman James Shipton says auditors and superannuation trustees will be under more scrutiny and will face more enforcement action this year.

“There remain pockets, hopefully small ones, of blindness to reality,” Mr Shipton told Australian Financial Review.

“Corporate governance will ramp up. We’ve got more funding.”

“The extension of the corporate governance work means large listed companies we hope will be more in the regulatory frame than before.”

“What you will likely see us do more is look at subject matters like how you govern executive remuneration; deeper dives into subsets of non-financial risks,” Mr Shipton told AFR.

ASIC’s corporate governance taskforce will be extended beyond financial services after it found some banks were performing poorly on non-financial risks such as operational risk, conduct risk and compliant risk.

Mr Shipton says the tactic of embedding ASIC agents within the big four banks will continue.

“What we are doing more than ever before is having very regular conversations on an ongoing basis with the senior most leaders of the big five financial institutions,” he told AFR.

Mr Shipton says ASIC’s enforcement pipeline is well and truly overflowing in the wake of the Hayne royal commission.  


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