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15-080MR ASIC reports on supervision of registered liquidators for 2014
ASIC today released its annual report for the 2014 calendar year into the supervision of registered liquidators.
Report 430, ASIC regulation of registered liquidators: January to December 2014, details the supervisory, enforcement, stakeholder liaison and educative work ASIC undertook in its commitment to continue improving regulation of the insolvency and restructuring sector.
- ASIC initiated proceedings resulted in the removal of liquidators from the Walton Constructions group and, importantly, the Appeal Court’s ruling on the appropriate test of independence for liquidators.
- ASIC maintained its strong enforcement focus on registered liquidators (commencing 14 formal investigations in 2014 compared to 11 in 2013 and 13 in 2012) and, achieving the key enforcement outcomes set out below.
- Reports of alleged misconduct about registered liquidators continued a downward trend.
ASIC Commissioner John Price said he was pleased to see the continuing, overall downward trend in reports of alleged misconduct about registered liquidators and the strong enforcement outcomes.
Commissioner Price added, ‘ASIC works closely with registered liquidators when companies fail; particularly through ASIC’s administration of the Assetless Administration Fund, the Liquidator Assistance Program and enforcement action against directors and others based on registered liquidator reports to ASIC. However, as our report highlights, ASIC also seeks sanctions against those liquidators who don’t meet the high standards that the law imposes. We anticipate continuing our strong enforcement focus on those few practitioners who flout the law. We will also continue our programs aimed at supervising the majority who do the right thing so people can have trust and confidence in the profession.’
Key enforcement outcomes include:
- At the end of December 2014, 21 registered liquidators were subject to formal investigation or enforcement action.
- ASIC made two applications to the Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board (CALDB). The CALDB suspended the registration of Mr William Hamilton for six months (refer: 14-080MR). The CALDB heard the remaining application in December 2014 and ASIC awaits the outcome.
- The CALDB cancelled the registration of Mr Pino Fiorentino (refer: 14-160MR) and suspended the registration of Mr Alan Topp for six months (refer: 14- 088MR).
- The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions filed criminal charges against Mr Mark Darren Levi (refer: 14-314MR).
- ASIC accepted an enforceable undertaking from Mr Simon Coad which includes a peer review program (refer: 14-089MR).
- ASIC entered into five negotiated resolutions; two where the liquidator voluntarily agreed to cancel their registration and three where they agreed to a peer review program to address ASIC’s concerns.