ASIC to Enhance Corporate Disclosures Through Regtech

Five regtechs are tasked with conducting a feasibility study to help ASIC analyse corporate disclosures and assess compliance by listed companies.

ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) has set aside up to AUD 1 million (USD 715,000) to fund a regtech initiative aimed at addressing poor corporate disclosures.

The initiative is part of the BRII (Business Research and Innovation Initiative), a government-backed grant initiative aimed at facilitating innovative businesses and advancements in technology that are beneficial to consumers, investors and markets.

ASIC will grant up to AUD 100,000 to each of five regtechs to conduct a feasibility study in response to the corporate disclosure challenge. The firms are Bedrock AI Aus, DigitalX, Eastern Analytica, Listcorp and Pyxta.

ASIC said it will work with the five firms throughout the three-month feasibility study as they focus on developing a technology solution to help the regulator analyse corporate disclosures, and other datasets, to identify and assess compliance by listed companies with a range of requirements, including:

  • continuous disclosure (price sensitive disclosure) and other disclosure obligations to the market;
  • financial reporting obligations;
  • the prohibition against misleading or deceptive disclosure (such as misleading categorisation of market announcements); and
  • the prohibition against practices that manipulate the pricing of securities.

In the next stage, two of the regtechs may receive further grants of up to AUD 1 million each to develop and test a PoC (proof of concept) over a further 15 months.

“ASIC deliberately designed a challenge around market disclosure that is a representative problem so that potential regtech solutions can also be applied to other problem use cases by agencies and industry,” said commissioner Cathie Armour. “Working towards an innovative solution has the potential to transform ASIC’s ability to harness technology to reduce regulatory burden, while enhancing market integrity.”

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