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Pandemic puts consumers as top priority

  • April 15 2020
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Invest

Pandemic puts consumers as top priority

By Grace Ormsby
April 15 2020

Aware of a “heightened risk of significant consumer harm”, Australia’s corporate regulator will be strengthening its support for COVID-19-affected individuals.

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Pandemic puts consumers as top priority

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  • April 15 2020
  • Share

Aware of a “heightened risk of significant consumer harm”, Australia’s corporate regulator will be strengthening its support for COVID-19-affected individuals.

social distancing meeting

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has said it will be temporarily changing its regulatory work and priorities to allow it to focus fully on “issues of immediate concern” related to the current pandemic.

As a result, it will be heightening its support for consumers who may be vulnerable to scams and sharp practices, or who receive poor advice.

ASIC has also indicated it will provide information and assistance to consumers who need support “should they fall into hardship”.

The regulator’s chair, James Shipton, said it expects the Australian financial services sector “to continue to act fairly and in the best interests of consumers in these extraordinary times”.

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He explained that COVID-19 has increased ASIC’s workload, “as there is a heightened risk of significant consumer harm, the possibility of serious breaches of the financial services laws, and challenges in ensuring market integrity and the continued funding of companies and the economy”.

“ASIC is being especially vigilant in addressing predatory practices, scams and frauds,” Mr Shipton indicated.

To do this, ASIC said it will be deferring some current activities, as well as redeploying staff to address issues of immediate concern.

It still expects entities to treat customers fairly, avoid adding further financial harm or burden to consumers, and act to maintain the integrity and efficiency of markets.

Pandemic puts consumers as top priority
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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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