ASIC Heralds 12 ‘Enforcement Priorities’ for 2023, including Crypto

<p> The Australian Securities and <a href=”” target=”_blank” id=”b5da6e64-2afe-421d-9b81-16404b7d59d6_1″ class=”terms__main-term”>Exchange</a> Commission (<a href=”” target=”_self”>ASIC</a>) published a list of Enforcement Priorities for 2023 on Thursday. It includes enforcement actions on predatory lending, greenwashing and a stronger focus on investment scams, including high-risk products like cryptocurrency assets. </p><p class=”MsoNormal”>The Deputy Chair, Sara Court announced the twelve priorities for the Australian financial watchdog next year’s enforcement during the ASIC Annual Forum in Sydney. She highlighted the need to protect retail traders better and broaden the integrity of the local financial industry.</p><p class=”MsoNormal”>”This is the first time ASIC has identified particular areas of enforcement focus, which we now expect to do on an annual basis. These priorities communicate our intent to industry and our stakeholders, and give a clear indication of where we will direct our resources and expertise,” Court said. </p><p class=”MsoNormal”>The <a href=””>list</a> of the newest 2023 priorities includes enforcement action targeting the poor design of financial products, misleading conduct in relation to sustainable finance, including greenwashing, misconduct involving high-risk products like crypto assets, combating and disrupting investment scams, protecting financially vulnerable consumers, misleading and deceptive conduct relating to investment products, misconduct in the superannuation sector, misinformation through social media and unfair contract terms.</p><p class=”MsoNormal”>Crypto Scams Top the List</p><p class=”MsoNormal”>In the following year, <a href=”” target=”_blank” id=”dfb41d67-b79e-4b09-b365-1f341b85a51b_4″ class=”terms__secondary-term”>ASIC</a> wants to emphasize its enforcement actions, including <a href=”” target=”_blank”>crypto-assets</a> and potential cryptocurrency scams. According to the regulatory watchdog statement, in the last two years to June 2022, it received more than 2,200 reports regarding possible misconduct within the crypto space. </p><p class=”MsoNormal”>As a result, in 2023, the institution wants to further protect consumers from engaging in investments characterized as high-risk.</p><p class=”MsoNormal”>”Australians have experienced a range of financial pressures in recent years, from the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic to increased costs of living. On top of this, many have been affected by investment scams. We are prioritizing the disruption of scams,” Court added.</p><p class=”MsoNormal”>It is another publication of a longer-term strategy by ASIC in recent months. In August 2022, the Australian financial watchdog <a href=””>revealed</a> its 4-year plan, focusing on technology risks and the distribution of investment products.</p><p class=”MsoNormal”>In the same month, ASIC <a href=””>asked</a> brokers to be ‘careful about or reconsider’ offering high-risk investment instruments or products to retail investors. According to the regulator, many of them are ‘unfair and inappropriate’.</p>

This article was written by Damian Chmiel at