ASIC expands scope of surveillance projects in new corporate plan

ASIC has detailed a broad range of new surveillance activities, unveiled in its latest corporate plan released on Wednesday 31 August 2016.

In its FY16-17 corporate plan, ASIC's vision has subtly shifted from a central focus on contributing to 'improved standards of living' to improving the 'financial well-being' of all Australians.

ASIC continues its significant focus on behavioural insights as a key tool for understanding the drivers of customers, investors and gatekeepers. Specifically, additional funding will go towards:

  • expanding the behavioural insights team in order to develop data analytics capabilities to better identify and respond to risks; and
  • extending the regulatory data platform in order to share and capture behavioural insights data. 

ASIC has also announced the following new projects as part of its surveillance activities over the next year. We await with interest further details of each project's terms of reference.

Area New Projects
Gatekeeper culture and conduct in financial services and credit

Financial Advice

Quality of financial service
Accountants operating in the financial advice business
Professional indemnity insurance held by smaller licensees
Insurance churn by advisers
Credit Credit card issuers
Loan fraud, particularly in the home loan market
Breach reporting practices within the Big Four banks
Superannuation and managed funds Employers and super
Gatekeeper culture and conduct in markets
Corporations Promotion of IPOs
Improving the quality of financial information in prospectuses
Insolvency Registered liquidators' independence and remuneration
Digital disruption
  Developing and implementing technology standards
Misalignment of retail product design and distribution with consumer understanding
Superannuation and managed funds Disclosure of fees and costs
Disclosure of performance information
Compliance with custody requirements
ETF issuers' compliance with liquidity and other requirements
Insurance in superannuation
Insurance Direct sale of life insurance
Market intermediaries Retail structured products sales and advice practices
Financial literacy Research and evaluation to support future work
Cross-border business, services and transactions
Superannuation and managed funds Integrity of licencing system for wholesale licensees


Simultaneously with the release of ASIC's updated corporate plan, on 31 August 2016, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman announced that it would undertake an inquiry into the adequacy of the law to address concerns raised by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services in its report, Impairment of Customer Loans. Together with the focus of many of ASIC's upcoming projects, this highlights the Government's substantial financial system agenda to improve consumer outcomes.

Anna Simmons

I deeply understand my client's business so I can offer insight and innovative solutions to achieve outcomes that count.

Anna Simmons Senior Associate

Anna is a restructuring and insolvency lawyer specialising in insolvency advice, dispute resolution and financial regulation.

Anna's clients include banks and insolvency practitioners. She advises these clients on dispute resolution, regulatory compliance, enforcement strategies, receiverships, and liquidations.

Anna has extensive experience in advising on various aspects of debt recovery, insolvency and bankruptcy, creditors' remedies, general banking litigation, fraud disputes, misleading and deceptive conduct claims (including valuer negligence) and other forms of dispute resolution. She has worked on a large-scale remediation program, with a focus on regulator engagement.

Anna also presents and writes on insolvency, litigation and recovery matters.

As part of HDY's Pro Bono program, Anna volunteers at Redfern Legal Centre and MOSAIC, a specialist legal service that provides free legal advice to asylum seekers, refugees and newly arrived migrants. Anna is a member of HDYPride, the firm's LGBTIQ support network.

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Claudine Salameh Partner

Claudine has over 15 years' experience dealing with legal issues in the financial services sector.

She is a banking and insolvency litigator and regulatory expert. She acts for the major Australian financial institutions in matters involving customer disputes and litigation, fraud, regulatory and compliance issues, regulatory investigations, inquiries and enforcement matters, security enforcement and insolvency litigation. She also acts for insolvency practitioners in formal receiverships, voluntary administrations and liquidations.

Claudine is well known for her ability to manage risks posed by litigation and regulatory inquiries and investigations. She is particularly attuned to reputational and business risks. She is highly strategic and creative and is recognised by her clients for being able to achieve the perfect balance between legal arguments and commercial and practical outcomes.

Claudine has been instrumental in working with clients to provide insights into the field of behavioural economics, which over the past few years, has been of interest to policy makers and regulators as a tool to engage in 'choice architecture'. On a practical level, Claudine has worked closely with clients to design approaches to customer engagement that make use of behavioural insights.   

Claudine is an expert in the conduct of review and remediation programs and provided assistance to the regulator, by way of submissions and her involvement in an industry working group, on ASIC's regulatory guide on review and remediation programs.

Claudine is very familiar with ASIC's powers to obtain documents and information from financial institutions and is called upon by financial institutions to provide assistance in these matters. She has a style that is conducive to having a fruitful dialogue with both the regulator and the various stakeholders within a financial institution.

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