ASIC launches immunity policy for market manipulation and insider trading

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has launched an immunity policy for certain offenses such as market manipulation, insider trading and dishonest conduct.

The new policy allows an individual who was engaged with others in such actions as market manipulation and insider trading in the course of carrying on a financial services business, to seek immunity from civil penalty and criminal proceedings. This policy covers only individuals and not corporations.

This policy will help the Australian watchdog in identifying and taking action against specific markets and financial services breaches of the law and strengthen its prosecution tools.

ASIC will be able to grant civil immunity and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution (CDPP) will be able to grant criminal immunity. ASIC will help the CFPP to make decisions with input for criminal immunity applications.


The new policy grants immunity to the first individual who satisfies the immunity criteria and reports the misconduct to ASIC before an investigation has started.

ASIC still encourages individuals who do not meet the criteria to cooperate and they will be given due credit. The regulator will not grant immunity from any administrative or compensation actions. However, the cooperation of individuals will be considered in the decision to take such administrative actions against the individual.

ASIC reminded that individuals who have been found guilty in market manipulation, insider trading and dishonest conduct may face up to 15 years in prison and almost a $1,000,000 fine.

ASIC Commissioner Sean Hughes commented:

Sean Hughes, ASIC

Sean Hughes
Source: LinkedIn

ASIC continues to develop and implement new tools to combat and detect misconduct. The Immunity Policy enhances ASIC’s ability to identify and take enforcement action against complex markets and financial services contraventions.

The regulator will review the Immunity Policy every two years.

Applications for immunity can be submitted through ASIC’s online form, contacting its Immunity Policy Hotline (+612 9911 5008) or emailing ASIC at [email protected].

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