FourFourFourTwo is reporting that Australia’s investment regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has released a new national asset protection scheme, known as AESIC, which is designed to protect investors against predatory investors and other risky activities. 

In its release, ASIC confirmed that the new scheme is not yet operational, and that it is not expected to be operational until 2019.

ASIC has announced that the scheme will be in place by the end of 2019, meaning investors will have to wait until 2021 for their investments to be protected. 

But the scheme is designed not only to protect investment funds but also other investors as well. 

The scheme aims to address the lack of regulatory oversight, transparency and transparency in the securities market, the release said. 

“In particular, the scheme aims at addressing the fact that there is no single entity that has all the information on each asset class, with no single regulator providing oversight or ensuring that each asset is properly regulated,” ASIC said.

In a statement, ASIC said that it will continue to work with its investment advisers, the National Asset Protection Advisory Committee, and other stakeholders to improve oversight and ensure that all investors have access to the scheme. 

Investors who have a deposit or other funds in the scheme are entitled to a 30-day grace period for deposits to be returned to them.

“The scheme will enable investors to make an informed decision about whether to contribute or maintain an investment and this will be reflected in their investment returns,” ASIC added.

The new scheme will also include the following key elements:AESIC will ensure that investors are protected from predatory and fraudulent investment activities, including those in the financial services industry, by ensuring that their investments are protected against:Any fraudulent activity that has the potential to adversely affect an investment, such as an unfair, deceptive or unconscionable practice;An investment that is not being fully or properly insured;A failure to maintain a safe and sound fund or portfolio, including any financial assets that are subject to loss due to adverse events or circumstances, or other factors that are not fully disclosed or disclosed to the investor;Investors whose assets are subject for the purposes of AESIS to an asset protection arrangement;And any other risk-related activity that is in contravention of the Code of Conduct, or which is inconsistent with the Code. 

This means that investment funds and other financial assets will be protected against predatory and predatory investment activity.

This includes:An investment fund that has been made under a scheme or a registered investment company under the Code or the Australian Financial Services Act.

The new AESICS scheme will require an investment advisor to ensure that their clients are fully aware of their rights and obligations under the scheme and the relevant rules. 

If a client wishes to withdraw from the scheme, they must be provided with a written notice from ASIC. 

An advisor must also be in a position to investigate complaints made to ASIC, and ASIC has the power to investigate such complaints.

For more information on ASIC’s new scheme, see  The new Australia’s Investor Protection and Security Scheme:  https://www.asic.gov.au/assets/Documents/ASIC-2018-01-12-Public-Notice-Final.pdf