Financial regulators to appear before House Economics Committee

With Australia’s economy still experiencing the impacts of COVID-19, this Friday the House Economics Committee will gather key financial regulation bodies to discuss consumer protection, responsible lending, and other issues.

Chair Tim Wilson says witnesses from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and Australian Securities & Investments Commission will appear at Friday’s hearing.

‘The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented disruption and uncertainty in the financial sector,’ Mr Wilson said.

‘Now, more than ever, it is essential to maintain strong prudential regulation; promote competition; and ensure fair and transparent dealings to safeguard financial stability and consumer trust in the financial sector’.

The hearing brings together separate inquiries from the committee into each body’s annual reports.

‘It has been a year since we saw the ACCC before the committee, and I am looking forward to hearing how the ACCC is protecting the interests of consumers in sectors like tourism and insurance, as well as progress on their media code, Mr Wilson said.

‘Of particular interest to the committee is hearing from ASIC regarding its guidance on the responsible lending obligations in light of the RBA Governor’s recent evidence to the committee, as well as whether they are taking action against super funds acting inappropriately.’

‘The committee is also interested in hearing how APRA is promoting strong prudential regulation and operational resilience amongst financial institutions, including super funds.’

Mr Wilson added that the committee is keen to scrutinise the ACCC on its response to the pandemic, including enforcement activities, review of hardship policies, its COVID-19 Taskforce, and maintaining and promoting competition.

In addition, the committee will also examine the Australian Energy Regulator. In particular, the committee is interested in the AER’s efforts in protecting energy customers and the energy market during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public hearing details

Date: Friday, 23 October 2020

Time: 9.30am to 5.00pm

Venue: Committee Room 1R3, Parliament House, Canberra, and via videoconference

The hearing will be broadcast live (audio only) at aph.gov.au/live.

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