ASIC has published its Corporate Plan for the next year, outlining key challenges and risks warranting attention as well as how ASIC will continue to strengthen its capabilities. Broadly, the challenges identified include culture and conduct, building financial capability, the globalisation of financial markets, products and services, and the structural and demographic changes in the financial system. Of particular note are challenges regarding digital disruption and cyber resilience in financial services and markets.

Sound market infrastructure and technological resilience are core to maintaining the stability of Australia’s financial markets. Developments in regulatory technology (regtech) and data storage have the potential to reduce costs, improve the efficiency of product and service delivery and empower customers. However, ASIC noted that there are still risks from fintech that need to be addressed, including:

  • misunderstandings as a result of streamlined consumer engagement processes;
  • increased market fragmentation and complexity;
  • new products and services testing regulatory boundaries; and
  • cyber threats in relation to the release of customer data, compromising market integrity.

ASIC re-iterated the success of its Innovation Hub in assisting start-ups, having supported 162 businesses in sectors such as digital advice, marketplace lending, crowd-sourced funding, payments and remittance, consumer credit, superannuation and insurance.