The corporate watchdog had staff on site at the major banks and AMP almost every second day between October 2018 and December 2019, following the Royal Commission.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC’s) latest update report said its staff were at the institutions for 216 days over the period and conducted 739 meetings with banking staff at all levels.
Over the year to January, 2020, ASIC had also increased its enforcement investigations by 10%, and had a 52% increase in enforcement investigations involving the Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac, ANZ and AMP (of their officers or subsidiary companies).
“Our close and continuous monitoring supervisory program was developed to directly encourage enduring cultural and behavioural change, and to promote the earlier identification of practices and processes that may cause financial harm to consumers and erode community confidence in the integrity of Australia’s major financial institutions,” it said.
“The on-site reviews focused on the institutions’ approaches to detection of and response to incidents (breach reporting), and their internal dispute resolution (complaints handling) arrangements, including processes, practices, resourcing, governance and reporting.”
The report noted that in addition to the Royal Commission referrals and case studies, ASIC’s Office of Enforcement was prioritising:
- Misconduct related to superannuation and insurance;
- Cases that engage ASIC’s new powers or provisions that now carry penalties or higher penalties;
- Illegal phoenix activity;
- Auditor misconduct; and
- New or emerging types of misconduct, including misconduct carried out online or with the use of emerging technologies.