The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has revealed there has been a 129 per cent increase in wealth management investigations over the past 14 months under its enhanced, post-Royal Commission regulatory approach.
The almost unprecedented increase in wealth management investigations activity was revealed by ASIC commissioner, John Price, who told a governance and risk management forum that action represented part of the regulator’s acceleration of action.
He said that from February 2018 to March 2019 there had been:
- a 15 per cent increase in the number of ASIC enforcement investigations
- a 65 per cent increase in enforcement investigations involving large financial firms (or their officers or subsidiary companies), and
- a 129 per cent increase in wealth management investigations.
Price repeated earlier ASIC clarifications around its “why not litigate” approach claiming it was very different to a “litigate first” or “litigate everything” strategy.
He said that the strategy meant that court action was likely once ASIC was satisfied that breaches of the law are more likely than not, and it was evident from the facts of the case that the pursuit of the matter would be in the public interest.