September 11, 2019 / 6:39 AM / 8 days ago

Australian regulator has monitored financial firms on-site since October

(Reuters) - Australia’s corporate regulator said on Wednesday it has been conducting long-term on-site monitoring at the offices of major banks and wealth manager AMP Ltd (AMP.AX) since October, after a probe into the sector revealed wide-ranging misconduct.

The country last year granted the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) powers to place supervisors inside firms after a broad inquiry into the sector exposed systemic wrongdoing by some of the Australia’s top financial institutions.

ASIC said its staff have been conducting on-site reviews for 164 out of 222 working days since October 2018.

During this time, ASIC said it has met with more than 550 staff at all levels.

“Two early areas of focus have been breach reporting and complaints handling, issues that go to the heart of an institution’s compliance and customer focused culture,” ASIC said in a statement.

Commonwealth Bank (CBA.AX), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ.AX) and National Australia Bank (NAB.AX) weren’t immediately available for comment.

Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) and AMP declined to comment.

Reporting By Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes

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