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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is an independent commission of the
Australian Government The Australian Government, also known as the Commonwealth Government, is the national government of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the ...
tasked as the national corporate regulator. ASIC's role is to regulate company and financial services and enforce laws to protect Australian consumers, investors and creditors. ASIC was established on 1 July 1998 following recommendations from the Wallis Inquiry. ASIC's authority and scope are determined by the ''Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001''. ASIC, which reports to the
Treasurer A treasurer is the person responsible for running the treasury A treasury is either *A government department Ministry or department, also less commonly used secretariat, office, or directorate are designations used by a first-level executi ...
, is responsible for the administering the following legislation: * ''
Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 Australians, colloquially referred to as "Aussies", are the citizens, nationality, nationals and individuals associated with the country of Australia. Between 1788 and the Second World War, the vast majority of settlers and immigrants came ...
'' (ASIC Act) * ''
Business Names Registration Act 2011 Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling Product (business), products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit." Having a busi ...
'' * ''
Corporations Act 2001 The Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the Corporations Act, or CA 2001) is an Act of the Commonwealth of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the A ...
'' (Corporations Act) * ''
Insurance Contracts Act 1984 Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management, primarily used to Hedge (finance), hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss. An entity which provides insurance is known as an insurer ...
'' * ''
National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 The National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (NCCP Act) is an Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian con ...
'' (National Credit Act) Additionally, ASIC is also responsible for administering parts of the following legislation: * ''
Banking Act 1959 A bank is a financial institution that accepts Deposit account, deposits from the public and creates a demand deposit while simultaneously making loans. Lending activities can be directly performed by the bank or indirectly through capital ma ...
'' * ''
Life Insurance Act 1995 Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as Cell signaling, signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased (they have Death ...
'' * ''
Medical Idemnity (Prudential Supervision and Product Standards) Act 2003 Medicine is the Art (skill), art, science, and Praxis (process) , practice of caring for a patient and managing the diagnosis, prognosis, Preventive medicine, prevention, therapy, treatment or Palliative care , palliation of their injury or dise ...
'' * ''Retirement Savings Accounts Act 1997'' * ''Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993'' * ''Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993'' (SIS Act).


ASIC registers

ASIC maintains Australia's company register, company and business name registers, which can be searched online. The types of organisations that can be searched online include companies, registered bodies, foreign companies, associations, managed investment schemes and non-registered entities. The information that is available includes current and/or historical information about the organisation, including past addresses, previous directors, and former names, as well as the organisation's unique identification number (ABN, ACN, ARBN, ARSN), type of company or organisation (e.g., proprietary company, limited by shares), date it was registered, the next review date, location of registered office (town or suburb only), and any professional licences or registrations (e.g. an Australian financial services licence or credit licence).


History

ASIC was originally formed as the Australian Securities Commission (ASC), established on 1 January 1991 by the (then) ASC Act 1989. The purpose of ASC was to unify corporate regulators around Australia by replacing the National Companies and Securities Commission and the Corporate Affairs offices of the states and territories. The corporate regulator became the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) on 1 July 1998, when it also became responsible for consumer protection in superannuation, insurance and deposit taking. It has since gained further responsibilities: in 2002 for credit, the Australian Stock Exchange in 2009, and Chi-X in 2011.


Criticisms

In 2012, ASIC called for powers to use data which had been intercepted by other intelligence agencies. In recent times ASIC has become the subject of criticism by consumers, consumer advocates and public officials over its inaction and inefficiencies in protecting consumers from large financial institutions. In 2015-2016 ASIC was subject to a class action claim of negligence by persons affected by the Storm Financial collapse for an alleged failure to take action, amounting to malfeasance. However, Jacqueline Gleeson, Justice Gleeson of the Federal Court of Australia struck out the statement of claim of the plaintiffs as being unarguable. ASIC has not acted against the Financial Ombudsman Service (Australia) (FOS) despite the organisation being exposed as having generated misleading file notes and then attempting to offer them in the discovery phase in a Victorian Supreme Court case. FOS were caught out and exposed by a consumer and ASIC has not acted against FOS. ASIC did commence proceedings against the largest four banks in Australia in 2016 for rigging of Australian benchmark interest rates. However criticism has been leveled against the regulator for failing to take action for over five years. Questions remain about how this will affect consumer civil causes of action against banks involved, given that the statute of limitations tends to be six years in Australia. ASIC has recently become subject of heavy criticism in the debate about whether a Royal Commission into banking and financial services is required.


Areas of responsibility

ASIC's areas of responsibility include: *corporate governance *financial services *securities and derivatives *insurance *consumer protection *financial literacy. ASIC's consumer websit
www.moneysmart.gov.au
was launched on 15 March 2011. MoneySmart (website), MoneySmart replaced ASIC's two previous consumer websites, FIDO and Understanding Money. MoneySmart aims to help people make good financial decisions by providing free, independent and unbiased information, tools and resources.


See also

ASIC * ''ASIC v Kobelt'' * ''Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Rich, ASIC v Rich'' * Australian Registered Scheme Number Australian finance: * Australian Accounting Standards Board * Australian Prudential Regulation Authority * Australian Takeovers Panel * Financial Ombudsman Service (Australia) * Reserve Bank of Australia General: * Economy of Australia * Securities Commission * List of financial regulatory authorities by country, List of financial regulatory authorities * List of company registers


References


External links


Australian Securities & Investments Commission

MoneySmart
- the consumer website of Australian Securities & Investments Commission {{Authority control Australian Securities and Investments Commission, * Securities and exchange commissions Federal law enforcement agencies of Australia, Securities Australian Securities Exchange Corporate governance in Australia Financial regulatory authorities of Australia