Budget 2019: Funding boost for regulators vital to restoring trust in financial sector

$600m announced for ASIC, APRA and others to tackle Banking Royal Commission recommendations

The Governance Institute of Australia welcomes the Federal Government’s 2019 Budget. Funding increases for the financial sector’s key regulators, ASIC ($405m) and APRA ($152m), as well as a the expansion of the Federal Court’s remit ($35.5m) to prosecute white collar crime will help drive accountability in the financial sector.

“The Governance Institute has long advocated for strengthening the financial regulators ASIC and APRA, both in terms of resources and funding and a stronger remit to enforce existing laws. They will be key to restoring trust to the financial sector, and holding those guilty of wrongdoing to account,” said Megan Motto, CEO, Governance Institute of Australia.

“It is also good to see both the Government and the opposition pushing the regulators to highlight governance issues such as executive remuneration, board gender diversity, and environmental sustainability risks.

“The Banking Royal Commission and the ASX Corporate Governance principles have already heightened community expectations around business ethics and culture. Australians are demanding accountability from our business leaders, and the regulators who watch them.  By boosting ASIC and APRA’s ability to perform their functions more effectively, it sends a strong, and positive message about fairness.”

The Government also announced $2.6m to implement an industry-funded compensation scheme of last resort for consumers and small business, and $2.8m to Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) to consider old complaints going back to 2008.

The budget also provides an additional $30.7m to pay for legacy unpaid external dispute resolution determinations.

“This is a healthy lead-in to an election campaign where corporate governance, culture, and ethics are front of mind for all Australians. Building long term stability and supporting business performance is key to the health of the Australian economy as a whole. We look forward to Labor’s budget response.”

Media enquiries, please contact:

Allan Swann
Senior Media Adviser
Governance Institute of Australia
+61 42 333 0058
allan.swann@governanceinstitute.com.au

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