ASIC chair issues industry ‘fairness challenge’

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chair James Shipton has issued a ‘fairness challenge’ to the financial services industry, asking it to consider if any of their practices or products have negative consequences.

Speaking at the ASIC Annual Forum in Sydney, Shipton said he was ‘not convinced’ by the level of questioning and discipline firms applied when launching new products.

“They need the procedural discipline to ask ‘is this practice or product going to cause harm, be detrimental or have a negative consequence?’

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“I am not convinced this level of questioning and procedural discipline has been applied by the financial industry when developing, and reviewing, business practices and financial products.”

He also felt financial services needed to be more inclusive and include every segment of the community, a quality that would improve Australians’ trust in the financial services industry.

“Ultimately, we need a financial system that not only serves every segment of the community but also is one where those who work in it feel proud of being a part of it.

“Proud because there is a broader community purpose to what they do and proud because they are professional in how they do it.

“If we can achieve this then we will have gone a long way for Australians to have trust and confidence in the financial system- something that is not only what Australians deserve but what is their right.”

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