ASIC creates legal immunity escape hatch

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has broken new ground by providing scope for people to be granted immunity for dobbing in market misconduct to the regulator. 

ASIC has released an “immunity policy” which it says covers certain contraventions of the Corporations Act, which includes serious offences such as market manipulation, insider trading and dishonest conduct in the course of carrying on a financial services business. 

It will allow people to seek immunity from both civil and criminal proceedings by helping ASIC identify and take enforcement action against specific markets and financial services breaches. 

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Under the policy, immunity will only be available to the first individual who satisfies the immunity criteria and reports the misconduct to ASIC prior to commencement of an investigation into the conduct. 

However, ASIC said individuals who did not meet the criteria for immunity were still encouraged to cooperate with ASIC and would be given due credit for any cooperation received. 

It said it would not be providing immunity from any administrative or compensation actions. 

“Any cooperation provided by an individual will be considered in determining whether to take administrative action against the individual,” ASIC said. 

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Hi Mike,

This is another important article. However, I am surprised that you did not comment on what was lacking in this announcement of a change of policy. Here is a comparison press release dated 23/2/2021 SEC Awards More Than $9.2 Million to Whistleblower for Successful Related Actions, Including Agreement With DOJ. Insiders who do tell ASIC or the Government critical insider information will in all probability lose their careers and health.

There is an excellent article written by Luci Ellis on 15/4/2009 when she was Head of the Financial Stability Department of the Reserve Bank of Australia entitled " The Global Financial Crisis: Causes, Consequences and Countermeasures". Here is the link:

Did the negative equity crisis in the United States cost middle-income American homeowners USD5.0 trillion in wealth destruction or was it more?

Keep up the good work, Mike.


John Cosstick

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