ASIC reveals 50% increase in enforcement investigations

The chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), James Shipton has pointed to a 50 per cent increase in enforcement investigations against large financial institutions or their employees as proof that the regulator is “very focused on enforcement and litigation”.

Addressing the Senate Economics Legislation Committee in Canberra late yesterday, Shipton stressed the degree to which ASIC was moving to comply with the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

He said that while the impact of what ASIC was doing would only become evident over time, the regulator was already highly active.

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“…as an early indication, since 1 February 2018 there has been:

  • a 15 per cent increase in the number of ASIC enforcement investigations on foot, and
  • a 50 per cent increase in the number of ASIC enforcement investigations of misconduct by large financial institutions (or their employees or subsidiary companies).

Shipton said that he wanted to underscore one broad point to the Senate Committee – “ASIC is very focused on enforcement and litigation”.

“Corporate Australia should know that ASIC has the very clear will to take wrongdoers to court. As the Royal Commission found, that is what Australians expect of their Regulator. And that is what ASIC will deliver,” he said.

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Why was it necessary for a Royal Commission to show ASIC what Australians expect of their Regulator?
Why does the policing regulator who's role it is to protect consumers have a history of being of no help to bank victims or victims of financial fraud?
Isn't that a deceptive trick for ASIC to state that it intends to actively focus on enforcement and litigation?
What about the human carnage from yesterday's incompetence?
What assurance that ASIC doesn't slip back into its cosy dine / wine and reluctant to act relationships?
What is ASIC doing for consumers harmed by the banking and financial services industry criminality?

ASIC is all about chest beating now. That's until the court cases start and the dollars start flowing to the legal leeches. Lets see how much bravado sticks when ASIC realises the banks and other large institutions have deep pockets too.

You have failed to realise a crucial point. ASIC is now funded by an annual levy charged to the financial services industry. Therefore, ASIC's legal expenses will be funded by the industry that it takes to court. From a financial perspective ASIC has no downside as it ramps litigation against the financial services sector. Each year ASIC will just hand out larger funding invoices to us.

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