ASIC will continue to use EUs

ASIC Joe Longo enforceable undertakings Julian Hill Sarah Court

30 November 2021
| By Oksana Patron |
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The chair of Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Joseph Longo, said during a Parliamentary hearing last week that it was time to bring back the enforceable undertakings (EUs).

When asked by Labor’s senator, Julian Hill, whether ASIC was planning on continuing to use the EUs and how to “better enforce the enforceable undertakings”, the corporate regulator’s chair said there were in fact a number of reasons to justify the continuation of the EU.

“The first point is the Sarah Court [ASIC’s deputy chair and head of enforcement] and I have thought it was time to bring them back and I want to inform the market that they were a part of the toolkit and that they were not forgotten about,” Longo said.

“I accept and respect Commissioner Hayne’s view about their use in the past or misuse or overuse. All we are saying is that we will use them where the public interest makes that a sensible option.

“The second point is that the enforceable undertakings are there to be enforced and they will be and in fact we do have enforced them occasionally in the past but if there is any confusion about that if any enforceable undertaking is not complied with, strictly in its terms, then we will be going to court to enforce that enforceable undertaking.”

According to Longo, the revised regulatory guidance had made it slightly clearer as what it could be expected to see in enforceable undertakings.

“I think the broad point here is there is no one mantra or view, we will enforce the law according to the merits of the situation we find ourselves in and Sarah Court in particular has been very articulate in our public messaging on this and we will keep doing our job.”

Court stressed that the EUs will be brought back but not as an alternative to court actions but rather as a part of a broader toolkit.

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