REPORT: ASIC Enforcement Review
Advisers, and Licensees, often long and loudly complain that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) lacks the power, authority and conviction to properly encourage recalcitrant advisers to embrace professionalism.
Advisers and Licensees can now relax. Position Paper 7 "Strengthening Penalties for Corporate and Financial Sector Misconduct" outlines the Regulator's wish-list of powers, penalties and remedies.
While any discussion of powers, penalties and remedies may terrify some advisers, ASIC's proposals are, in our opinion, reasonable and fair. Providing the Regulator with more regulatory options, and removing the threat of imprisonment for strict and absolute liability offences, are sensible outcomes. Extending the infringement notice regime and empowering ASIC to force non-compliant businesses to disgorge profits are, in principle, in the interest of both consumers and the regulated entities.
The FPA's response is unsurprising,
In ASIC's view the current penalties are "often too weak to act as a real deterrent, or inadequate when compared with the severity of misconduct" and the power to confiscate company profits from non-compliant companies will strengthen Australia's corporate penalty regime.
To read ASIC's Position Paper, click here.
To read the FPA's submission, click here.
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