[box border=”full”]ASIC has released the fourth of its six-monthly enforcement reports, detailing enforcement outcomes achieved in the period 1 January 2013 to 30 June 2013.[/box]
For the period ASIC achieved 371 outcomes. This included criminal action as well as civil and administrative action, enforceable undertakings (EU), and negotiated outcomes.
There were 78 enforcement outcomes achieved in the market integrity, corporate governance and financial services areas, and 293 in the small business area.
Individuals and entities ASIC took action against in the six months include:
- Macquarie Equities (refer: 13-010MR)
- Suncorp (refer: 13-155MR)
- former Bill Express CFO Peter Couper (refer: 13-077MR)
- Wickham Securities (refer: 13-156MR and 13-185MR)
- former Lonsec managing director Norman Graham (refer: 13-114MR)
For the period ASIC also achieved significant outcomes in cases arising out of the fallout from the global financial crisis, including Storm where ASIC secured $1.1 million in compensation for former investors Barry and Deanna Doyle (refer: 13-122MR).
ASIC has also included aggregate data for the past two years it has been publicly reporting on its enforcement results. ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said this allowed the regulator to identify emerging areas of focus.
‘With investors’ search for yield in a time of low interest rates seemingly showing no signs of slowing down, we will target misleading or deceptive advertising and sales practices by product issuers to ensure higher risk products aren’t being miss-sold,’ Mr Tanzer said.
‘Likewise, as the number of corporate insolvencies in Australia continues to rise, we will be looking to key gatekeepers such as directors and insolvency practitioners to ensure that they make appropriate decisions and uphold their obligations.’
Mr Tanzer said the discovery of legacy issues by firms – uncovering problems with older products or processes that need rectification – as a result of recent reforms such as FOFA and Stronger Super brought the obligation to self-report breaches to ASIC to the forefront.
‘ASIC will work constructively with companies who act promptly and appropriately in reporting breaches, to ensure that compliance issues are analysed and resolved and that consumers and investors can feel confident in the financial system,’ Mr Tanzer said.
Comparisons between individual enforcement reports should not be made. This is because no two enforcement actions are the same. For example, there may be differences in the complexity or seriousness of the allegations.
Click here for key statistics of the report.