The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is suspending activities that it deems not urgent to focus on the challenges created by the Covid-19 outbreak.
ASIC said that, until at least Sept. 30, it will be targeting issues created by the pandemic, and has immediately suspended work on less critical issues, such as regulatory consultations, reports and reviews. It has also suspended on-site supervisory work.
During this period, issues that involve the risk of serious consumer harm, major breaches of the law and risks to market integrity will still get the regulator’s attention, but its other routine work is being relegated to the back-burner for now.
“ASIC will maintain its enforcement activities and continue to investigate and take action where the public interest warrants us to do so against any person or entity that breaks the law. However, it will focus on action necessary to prevent immediate consumer harm, egregious illegal conduct and other time critical matters,” ASIC said.
In the meantime, the regulator said that it will grant relief from certain regulatory requirements.
“By taking these actions, industry participants will be better placed to focus on their immediate priorities and the needs of their customers at this difficult time,” ASIC noted.
The regulator also indicated that it intends to work with financial firms to accelerate the payment of outstanding restitution to customers.