ASIC enforcement update: January to June 2020

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has released its six-montly enforcement update report for the period 1 January to 30 June 2020.

The report covers the ongoing areas of focus, including a foreword from ASIC Deputy Chair Daniel Crennan discussing ASIC’s enforcement progress in the first six months of 2020 including in relation to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry-related enforcement work.

During this period, ASIC has successfully completed enforcement action in two long-running matters, Octaviar and Storm Financial, both of which related to directors’ duties obligations in Australia and resulted in civil penalties and disqualification orders.

ASIC has also had significant civil penalties imposed against large financial institutions including:

  • CBA was ordered to pay a civil penalty of $5 million and publish a corrective notice regarding its AgriAdvantage Plus Package; and
  • AMP was ordered to pay a civil penalty of over $5 million for failing to prevent insurance churn by its financial planners.

To address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Australian financial system, ASIC has developed a set of pandemic-related enforcement priorities to guide the organisation’s response to misconduct associated with the pandemic. The priorities are set out in the enforcement update report and ASIC’s Office of Enforcement has a number of investigations into pandemic-related misconduct.

You can download Report 666 ASIC enforcement update January to June 2020 on the ASIC website.