Posted October 18, 2020
Posted By Meghann Cannon
ASIC continues to focus on enforcement in the wake of Royal Commission and in spite of Covid-19
Prepared by Rosie Jervis
ASIC’s latest enforcement activity report ASIC Report 666 ASIC enforcement update January to June 2020 (REP 666) , released on 22 September 2020, demonstrates that the regulator remains committed to continuing its enforcement activity in spite of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the six months between 1 January and 30 June 2020 ASIC recorded 54 financial services related results, and as at 1 July 2020 had 11 criminal and 49 civil financial services related matters still before the Courts.
ASIC Deputy Chair Daniel Crennan states that the regulator remains committed to continuing enforcement and building its capability in line with its strategic plan. Indeed, ASIC’s resolve and commitment to meet the public’s expectation to ‘hold wrongdoers to account’ is demonstrated by increased enforcement activity in certain areas, as compared to the second half of 2019 (and detailed in ASIC’s Report 660 – ASIC enforcement update July to December 2019).
In regulating the conduct of financial services and credit providers, ASIC’s focus remains on improving consumer outcomes and addressing practices that result in consumer harm or create a risk of harm. This includes ensuring that financial services and credit providers act in the best interests of consumers and investors, and that company directors and officers are held to account on the basis that they are ‘gatekeepers who have a duty to ensure the company acts lawfully’.