Budget 2024: Regulators given boost to combat misconduct, cybersecurity

The government will provide $17.3 million over four years to ASIC and APRA to combat greenwashing and other related financial misconduct and help further develop Australia's sustainable finance market.

In a bid to promote the development of sustainable finance markets in Australia, the government is handing out close to $20 million to the regulators.

ASIC will be given $10 million over four years and an additional $1.9 million per year thereafter for additional resourcing to investigate and take action against greenwashing and other sustainability-related financial misconduct.

A further $1.6 million will be given over two years for ASIC and Treasury to consult on the design of a labelling regime to regulate the use of sustainability labels on retail investment products.

Meantime, $5.3 million will be invested over four years and $1.2 million each year ongoing for Treasury, ASIC and APRA to deliver the sustainable finance framework, including issuing green bonds, improving data and engaging in the development of international regulatory regimes related to sustainable finance.

A further $500,000 will go towards the development of Australia's sustainable finance taxonomy, including expanding it to cover the agriculture sector.

Treasury said these costs will be partially met through the ASIC and APRA industry levies.

Meanwhile, a further $206.4 million will be provided over four years and $7.2 million per year ongoing to improve ASIC and APRA's data capability and cybersecurity, and to continue the stabilisation of business registers and modernisation of legacy systems.

Again, this will be partially paid for by the ASIC and APRA industry levies.

ASIC will also receive a share of $37.3 million over four years to combat scams and online fraud by administering and enforcing a mandatory industry code that is to be introduced.

Finally, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will receive $187 million over four years to strengthen its ability to detect, prevent, and mitigate fraud against the tax and superannuation systems.

About $79 million will be spent to upgrade the ATO's technologies to identify and block suspicious activity in real time, while $83.5 million will go towards a new compliance taskforce to recover lost revenue and intervene when attempts to obtain fraudulent refunds are made. A further $25 million will be spent to improve how the ATO assists individuals harmed by fraud.

Read more: ASICATOAPRATreasury