ASIC has today released its enforcement report for the period 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015.
The report highlights ASIC's key areas of focus for the organisation and outcomes supporting those areas, including:
- poor organisational culture in the financial services industry
- retail margin foreign exchange trading
- illegal phoenix activity, and
- increasing volumes of electronic evidence and the associated technology.
Over the six-month period, ASIC has:
- secured $149 million in compensation and remediation for consumers and investors
- removed 27 individuals from financial services
- laid 42 criminal charges
- charged six persons in criminal proceedings
- issued 20 infringement notices
- commenced 105 investigations, and
- completed 86 investigations.
The report also contains detail on ASIC's areas of focus for the rest of 2016. The integrity of financial market benchmarks remain a high enforcement priority, as do disclosure obligations and market abuse. ASIC will continue to address these issues through strong enforcement action. ASIC's Wealth Management Project, which seeks to lift the standards of major financial advice providers, and ASIC's court proceedings aimed at winding up land banking schemes are also high priorities for the foreseeable future.
For the first time, the enforcement report also contains infographics and statistics about how an ASIC investigation operates. The report uses examples of recent ASIC investigations to communicate the processes and procedures that ASIC uses to achieve its enforcement outcomes.
ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, 'ASIC does everything in its power to detect and take action against those who break the law, to ensure consumers can have trust and confidence in our financial markets and financial services industry. This report highlights our strong recent enforcement record and ongoing areas of focus.'