ASIC continues small business focus for 2018-19

ASIC has released its Corporate Plan for 2018-19 to 2021-22 and small business continues to be an important stakeholder for the regulator, reflected in the plan’s action items for 2018-19.

ASIC Commissioner John Price said, “As Australia’s regulator for companies, financial markets and providers of financial services and consumer credit, ASIC works to help small business succeed as a key driver of the Australian economy. Small businesses employ half of Australia’s workforce and make up one-fifth of Australia’s gross domestic product so it’s vital that ASIC helps create an environment that develops the small business sector.”

In the financial year ahead, ASIC will focus on poor culture and professionalism in financial services and credit, particularly in the provision of consumer credit and financial advice, the fair treatment of small business, and the use of consumer data by firms (including data governance).

ASIC will continue to review lenders’ compliance with small business protections in unfair contract terms legislation and offer broader support to small business by providing information, tools and resources. In addition to ensuring companies comply with their obligations to small business, ASIC will be focussing on compliance by small business, in particular, illegal phoenix behaviour, non-compliance with financial reporting obligations and director misconduct.