ASIC has released its enforcement report for the period January 1, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
The report highlights ASIC’s long-term challenges and areas of focus going forward, as well as outcomes supporting those areas, including:
- balancing a free-market system with investor and financial consumer protection;
- digital disruption;
- structural change;
- financial innovation-driven complexity; and
Over the six-month period, ASIC has:
- laid 96 criminal charges;
- charged ten persons in criminal proceedings;
- issued 75 infringement notices;
- secured $13.4 million in compensation and remediation for consumers and investors;
- removed 24 individuals from financial services;
- commenced 101 investigations, and
- completed 93 investigations.
The report also highlights some of ASIC’s priorities over the next six-month period. Conduct risk and the integrity of financial market benchmarks remain a high priority, and ASIC is continuing to take enforcement action to address instances of market abuse or failures to meet disclosure obligations.
ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour said:
The recent enforcement outcomes highlighted in this report reflect ASIC’s unwavering commitment to ensuring Australia’s markets remain a level playing field for all investors.”
Further areas of focus for ASIC include but are not limited to:
- ensuring that gatekeepers adhere to the high standards required by law and taking action against those that fail to meet those standards;
- ensuring that financial advice firms and their advisers comply with the Future of Financial Advice reforms; and
- ASIC’s Wealth Management Project, which aims to improve the quality of financial advice provided to consumers.
ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said:
ASIC is working hard to maintain trust and confidence in Australia’s financial services industry. This report is a document of our strong track record and dedication to taking strong enforcement action where required.”
The report again contains infographics and statistics about how an ASIC investigation operates. The report uses examples of recent ASIC investigations to communicate the processes and procedures that ASIC uses to achieve its enforcement outcomes.
If you would like to see full details on the report, click here.