ASIC standards challenged by Parliamentary Committee

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has been challenged by members of a Parliamentary Committee to hold itself to the same standards it imposes on financial services firms.

Two Government members of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics took the chairman of ASIC, James Shipton, to task over the regulator’s level of competence with respect to data it used in its SMSF factsheet which later proved to be wrong.

The committee chairman, Tim Wilson backed NSW Liberal back-bencher, Jason Falinski in suggesting that if a financial services firm had made the same mistake, ASIC would have come down on them like a tonne of bricks.

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“Shouldn’t you hold yourselves to the same standards,” Falinksi asked.

Shipton said that he believed ASIC did hold itself to the same standards and had relied on data provided by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) which had since been updated.

Wilson said that notwithstanding the explanation provided by Shipton he believed the issue was one of competence on the part of ASIC which had released misleading information to the public which had remained on ASIC’s MoneySmart web site until recently.

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