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Corporate regulator continues crackdown on Australia’s biggest names

By Grace Ormsby · February 27 2020
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Borrow

Corporate regulator continues crackdown on Australia’s biggest names

By Grace Ormsby
February 27 2020
Reading:
egg
egg
Corporate regulator continues crackdown

Corporate regulator continues crackdown on Australia’s biggest names

author image
By Grace Ormsby · February 27 2020
Reading:
egg
egg
Corporate regulator continues crackdown

In the last year alone, ASIC has reported a more than 50 per cent increase in enforcement investigations related to some of Australia’s largest banks.

In an update for the period from September 2019 to February 2020, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission highlighted the 52 per cent increase in enforcement investigations involving CBA, NAB, Westpac, ANZ and AMP – or their officers or subsidiary companies.

There has also been a 10 per cent increase overall in the number of ASIC enforcement investigations.

This is on top of the 13 referrals made to the corporate regulator through the royal commission – two that are the subject of civil penalty litigation, while one is being considered by the Commonwealth director of public prosecutions for potential criminal action.

While three were concluded with no further action being taken, ASIC acknowledged that seven remain under investigation.

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Reiterating its stance around the principle of “why not litigate?”, the update outlined that the commission “will continue to use the courts to clarify the law where there is uncertainty”.

Since ASIC created its Office of Enforcement in July 2019, ASIC noted the office “has continued to increase its capacity to investigate and take action in response to market, corporate and financial sector misconduct”.

As at 1 January 2020, ASIC has noted 316 investigations taking place, relating to matters including directors’ and officers’ breaches, insider trading and market manipulation, auditor and liquidator breaches, and breaches of licensing obligations.

ASIC also indicated it is currently prioritising misconduct related to superannuation and insurance, cases that engage ASIC’s new powers or provisions, illegal phoenix activity, auditor misconduct, as well as new or emerging types of misconduct online or using emerging technologies.

ASIC said it will “also always prioritise taking action on certain types of misconduct”.

It highlighted significant market misconduct, misconduct that is serious by its nature or extent of harm, misconduct carrying a high risk of significant consumer harm, and criminal conduct by individuals, or governance failures at a board or executive level.

The commission outlined that it remains focused “on enhanced supervision of the financial services sector to promote enduring cultural and behavioural change and fair outcomes for consumers”.

It also highlighted its response to “emerging issues as they arise – for example, in our coordinated response to the recent bushfire crisis”.

Corporate regulator continues crackdown on Australia’s biggest names
Corporate regulator continues crackdown
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About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

Join The Nest Egg community

We Translate Complicated Financial Jargon Into Easy-To-Understand Information For Australians

Your email address will be shared with nestegg and subject to our Privacy Policy

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