Until at least 30 September 2020, the other matters that ASIC will afford priority are where there is the risk of significant consumer harm, serious breaches of the law, risks to market integrity and time-critical matters. ASIC will maintain its enforcement activities and continue to investigate and take action where the public interest warrants us to do so against any person or entity that breaks the law.
Key business as usual functions will be maintained including registry operations and services, receipt of whistleblower, breach and misconduct reports and general contact points for industry.
ASIC has implemented measures to maintain operations and support and protect staff during this time. This includes implementing stringent hygiene and cleaning protocols, social distancing and flexible working arrangements.
Information for market participants
ASIC has taken steps to ensure Australian equity markets remain resilient.
ASIC issued directions on 16 March 2020 under the ASIC Market Integrity Rules to a number of large equity market participants, requiring those participants to limit the number of trades executed each day until further notice. Read more.
Market participants must have business continuity plans up-to-date and ready to be activated. ASIC will continue to closely monitor market conditions and take action where needed to ensure markets remain fair and orderly.
Information for public companies
On 20 March 2020, ASIC issued guidelines for meeting upcoming annual general meetings (AGM) and financial reporting requirements.
See also Media Release 20-070MR.
Information for insurers
ASIC encourages fair and efficient insurance claims handling. ASIC expects firms involved in handling insurance claims to act with the utmost good faith. ASIC expects industry to communicate clearly and accurately to customers about their cover recognising the changing situation they may be facing.
Information for small business
ASIC has information to help small business operators, including how to protect your small business. ASIC also has resources for small business operators when companies might be experiencing financial distress or are trading while insolvent. Find out more about insolvency.
For information on the Australian Government's stimulus package for small and medium enterprises, including the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, read the latest update from the Treasurer announced on 22 March 2020.
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman website has more information and support.
Coronavirus information and support for business is also available from business.gov.au.
On 20 March 2020, the Australian Banking Association announced that Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months. Read more.
Information for investors
The markets are operating on a well-informed and fair basis, and Australia’s underlying market infrastructure is sound.
ASIC’s Moneysmart website has information for investors.
For information about specific listed entities, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) markets announcement platform is the most reliable source of information. If investors have any questions about particular investments, they should contact the product issuer or their financial adviser.
Payments, invoices and fee relief
- Industry Funding: If you are experiencing difficulties meeting your Industry Funding obligations due to COVID-19, please contact us on (03) 5177 5252 to discuss your payment options or refer to our Industry funding payment plans information.
- Fee relief: If you are experiencing difficulties meeting your obligations due to COVID-19, please contact us to discuss your payment options, apply for a payment plan or apply for a fee waiver.
Information for consumers
- Hardship: ASIC’s Moneysmart website has resources and information for consumers who encounter problems with service providers or who are in financial hardship.
- Superannuation and other investments: When making decisions about your superannuation and other investments, consider your long-term plan, take your time and seek advice to make an informed decision. Moneysmart has more information about super investment options and choosing the right options for you.
- Insurance: If you have questions about your insurance cover, you should contact your insurer or your super fund (for insurance provided through super) or a financial adviser. For more information about different types of insurance including life insurance and travel insurance visit the Moneysmart website.
- Watch out for scammers who try to take advantage of coronavirus (COVID-19). Scams can take many forms. Be wary of offers to assist you access your superannuation or high-return investment opportunities.
- Visit the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch for information about COVID-19 scams.
- The eSafety Commissioner provides tools and resources to help people staff safe online and how to protect yourself from misinformation.
See also Media Release 20-070MR.