The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced this week that they will be shifting priorities further in order to deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on firms and consumers in the country. Following previous reports that the regulator will be changing its agenda at least until the end of September 2020, the Commission has reported that it will spend increased efforts at remotely monitoring firms as part of its Close and Continuous Monitoring Program.

At the same time, the regulator seems to have put on hold the possible forthcoming changes to Contracts for Difference (CFD) trading requirements in the country and has shifted focus to try and protect Australian consumers from financial scams tied to the Covid-19 relief efforts. Furthermore, the regulator indicated that other tasks, such as consultations, regulatory reports and reviews are being deferred.

Nonetheless, in response to COVID-19, ASIC has stepped up its market supervision to ensure its markets remain fair and orderly, in order to ensure that investors are appropriately informed and protect against market abuse, the statement from the regulator said.