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Australia's Financial Regulator Assessment Authority (FRAA) recently released the report on its inaugural review of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The review found ASIC was "generally effective and capable," but that there was opportunity for improvement at the regulatory agency.

Specifically, the report makes four recommendations for ASIC to become more effective: reform culture to facilitate the adoption of data and technology solutions; improve stakeholder engagement; develop metrics for measuring its own effectiveness; and enhance its breadth of abilities to better be able to regulate the financial industry of the future.

The FRAA was established last year in response to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (’the Hayne Commission’) and is tasked with reviewing and reporting on the effectiveness and capability of Australia's financial regulators. The body does not, however, have the power to make a comment on individual enforcement actions taken by regulators nor will it be able to direct regulators to implement any of the recommendations made.

“We need to keep pace in an environment of accelerated change in order to be a confident and ambitious regulator," ASIC Chair Joseph Longo said in response to the report. He added that he welcomed the FRAA’s recommendations, which aligned closely with his own priorities for ASIC.

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