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Medcraft concedes impact of cuts to ASIC



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THE HON CHRIS BOWEN MP SHADOW TREASURER MEMBER FOR MCMAHON

MEDCRAFT CONCEDES IMPACT OF CUTS TO ASIC

ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft today emphasised the impact that the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s $120 million cuts are having on financial services regulator.

On one hand you have the Prime Minister and Treasurer claiming ASIC has greater powers than a Royal Commission, while the Chairman of ASIC is publicly conceding that the Government has made it more difficult for the regulator to conduct proactive surveillance on the financial services industry.

FRAN KELLY: Proper investigation requires proper resources. At that time, the first Budget, Tony Abbott cut resources to ASIC to the tune of $120 million over four years. You complained that the cuts would force the agency to reduce or stop “proactive surveillance” and force you to rely on more on whistleblowers. Have you, has ASIC been cut to the bone, as Chris Bowen says, and has that reduced your proactive surveillance capacity?

GREG MEDCRAFT: Look, at the end of the day, 70 per cent of our resources are devoted to surveillance and enforcement. When you have cuts, cutbacks in the Budget, actually what happens is that we reduce the level of proactive surveillance, because proactive surveillance is discretionary. Often surveillance leads to enforcement…

KELLY: Sure that is a matter for government but you have to operate with it and you did get a $120 million cut and you did say at the time, it will affect your capacity to conduct proactive surveillance. So has it?

MEDCRAFT: Yes, of course. As I said, proactive surveillance is discretionary because at the end of the day, our reactive surveillance is where we actually see something go wrong, we have to enforce the law. The proactive surveillance is actually where we believe there could be a problem and we go away and look and this is discretionary. What we do when we have cutbacks, we have a look at the priorities of our proactive surveillance and what we do is we adjust those down. The lower priority ones obviously are removed.

MEDCRAFT, RN BREAKFAST, TUESDAY, 12 APRIL 2016

Last Wednesday, the Prime Minister told us:

“There have been too many troubling incidents over recent times for them simply to be dismissed.”

TURNBULL, SPEECH TO WESTPAC’S 199TH BIRTHDAY, WEDNESDAY 6 APRIL 2016

But yet, the Prime Minister continues to dismiss these troubling incidents. After talking a tough game at Westpac birthday, he has done absolutely nothing.

In outlining the impact of $120 million cuts on his organisation earlier today, the ASIC Chairman went further, suggesting that there was an issue of trust in the financial services sector.

KELLY: Do you believe though that’s the case at the moment, that’s there’s trust and confidence in our banking and finance sectors?

MEDCRAFT: Look, at the present time, I think that trust has been somewhat dented.

Malcolm Turnbull is only consistent about one thing: waffling.

He certainly talks a good game, but his lack of action is embarrassing.

Grand speeches, but no follow through.

No wonder Australians are increasingly asking themselves, what does Malcolm Turnbull stand for?

TUESDAY, 12 APRIL 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: JAMES CULLEN 0409 719 879