Govt moves to double financial services penalties

In the wake of the interim findings of the Royal Commission and ahead of a looming Federal Election the Federal Government has announced it has moved to introduce legislation doubling the criminal penalties for corporate and financial services misconduct.

The move was announced by the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg and will see the maximum criminal penalties for individuals double to 10 years imprisonment and $945,000 or three times the benefit gained or loss avoided, whichever is the greater.

For corporations the amount has more than doubled to $9.45 million or three times the benefit gained or loss avoided, or 10 per cent annual turnover.

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The impending legislation also sees civil penalties increased to $1.05 million or three times the benefit gained or loss avoided and for corporations $10.5 million or three times the benefit gained or loss avoided, or 10 per cent annual turnover, capped at $210 million.

Frydenberg said that, additionally, the Government was giving the courts the power to seek additional remedies to strip wrongdoers of profits illegally obtained or losses avoided from contraventions resulting in civil penalty proceedings.

The Treasurer pointed out that because the legislation changes the Corporation Act, its introduction requires the agreement of at least three states or two states and one territory.




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