Apr 17, 2014

Corporate watchdog fails to pass a conflict of interest test of its own

How ASIC handles conflicts of interest when it relies on swapping staff with industry is key to perceptions of the regulator. And the story is not a good one.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Recently we examined the circumstances in which the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in 2005 gave the retail superannuation industry “relief” from the requirements of the Corporations Act in relation to online calculators, despite ASIC being aware of many retail providers failing to give consumers information about the impact of fees on potential investments. The issue came to light via the evidence of former ASIC lawyer James Wheeldon to the Senate Economics References Committee’s inquiry into ASIC.

However, as concerning as the nature of the decision ASIC made — in essence, to lower the legal standards so that some retail funds could obscure the impact of fees from consumers — was the conflict of interest involved in it.

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One thought on “Corporate watchdog fails to pass a conflict of interest test of its own

  1. Yclept

    Unbelievable that ASIC could allow such a situation to happen. I wish I could get a secondment to the ATO to write replies to myself regarding tax relief…

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