The corporate regulator has highlighted to a parliamentary committee that it would remain an active litigator despite it not placing as much public emphasis on the ‘why not litigate’ mantra.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chair, Joe Longo, said in response to recent media claims, there would not be any let up or lack of commitment to litigation and its commitment to “credible active law enforcement” was not going to change.
“I think the critical question is that we litigate the right matters and that we take full advantage of the full range of enforcement and regulatory tools that are available to us under the law. So, I'm personally not concerned at all in ASIC's commitment to enforcement,” he said.
When asked whether the regulator would take a binary or cooperative approach with companies Longo said it would not be binary.
“We're here to help businesses comply with the law and we will try to issue guidance and information sheets and the matters of that nature to help businesses comply with the law. Our operating assumption is that if people want to cooperate with us and comply with the requirements then that's what we would prefer,” he said.
“But we have a strong enforcement function as well, because as we know, there are individuals and companies that don't always comply with the law. We are equally committed to ensuring that consumers and investors who were exposed to the wrongdoing or breaches of the law and dealt with so it's certainly not binary.
“Between the commissioners and our senior staff continuous interactions with industry bodies, the banks, consumer groups, we all have a view to ensure that engagement contributes to us being an effective, informed, and in touch regulator.”
Longo noted that ASIC was also working towards a digital strategy aimed at investing in its technology.