Government looks to crack down on white collar crime

The Federal Government has announced that it has accepted the majority of the Senate White Collar Crime Report’s recommendations, as it seeks to look like it’s cracking down on penalties for corporate misconduct in the wake of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry’s latest hearings.

The Senate Inquiry into White Collar Crime, which was established to consider the inconsistencies and inadequacies of criminal, civil and administrative penalties for corporate and financial misconduct, provided its report to the Government last year.

The Government accepted the following recommendations:

  • To increase the availability of infringement notices;
  • To increase civil penalties and allow the maximum civil penalty to be set by a multiple of benefit gained or loss avoided; and
  • To allow for disgorgement of profits in civil proceedings.
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Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, said that the Government was committed to protecting consumers.

“The Turnbull Government is increasing penalties for corporate and financial misconduct to protect Australian consumers. These strong new penalties will both deter misconduct and also ensure that those who do engage in misconduct receive appropriately harsh punishment,” she said.

The recommendations were similar to those made by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC’s) Enforcement Review Taskforce, which were considered by the Government alongside each other.

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