Is ASIC litigating enough?

ASIC Senate Estimates Joe Longo Sarah Court

27 February 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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Staff at the Australian Securties and Investments Commission (ASIC) need to consider if they are taking on enough risk in choosing cases to litigate, according to chair Joe Longo, prompting a Senate committee to question if it should re-adopt the mantra of ‘why not litigate’.

Appearing before the Senate economics legislation committee, Longo was asked by Senator Nick McKim whether he thought enforcement staff at the regulator were too cautious and risk-averse.

“ASIC’s remit is very complex, it’s very broad and expectations of us have grown over the years. We keep getting a broader jurisdiction," he replied.

“What we need to think about is whether we are taking on enough risk. 

“When you start thinking about these issues deeply, the question that we all have is these matters we could run or could investigate. How do we go about choosing the ones we are going to run? 

“We would like to be faster. We would like to be more decisive and be able to run matters more quickly.”

Senator McKim then responded to ask whether ASIC’s ‘why not litigate’ approach, which encouraged taking a chance and having a higher appetite for risk in prosecutions, should be readopted.

Longo replied: “The ‘why not litigate’ mantra simply comes out of the Royal Commission, I think we are litigating as much as we ever have. We’re a very active litigator.”

Deputy chair, Sarah Court, added: “ASIC has not stepped away from enforcement in any way. Indeed, I would argue to the contrary.

“We are prioritising trying to move on matters through the organisation more quickly. We're on a campaign to increase penalties against significant financial institutions.”

She highlighted the corporate regulator’s work regarding fines for ANZ, Commsec and AUSIEX and Amex among others as evidence of recent enforcement action.



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Submitted by Captured on Mon, 2023-02-27 10:08

Litigate who precisely? Big Banks, Big Super Funds or a Financial Adviser or Mortgage Broker that didn't cross a T correctly on a Regulation put in place at the lobbying of said Big Banks or Super Funds?

Submitted by Roninbris on Tue, 2023-02-28 15:10

Very strange attitude. That a regulator considers their "risks" instead of the law?,?

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