19 criminal and 43 civil cases are currently before the
Courts with ASIC taking enforcement action for breaches of
financial services law including for unlicensed conduct, dishonest
conduct and misleading statements.
ASIC's enforcement activity is detailed in ASIC Report 476:
ASIC enforcement outcomes: July to December 2015 which
provides useful intelligence on current and future areas of
enforcement. Pursuing breaches of financial services law has
been a particularly active area for ASIC in the 6 month period
between 1 July 2015 – 31 December 2015, with ASIC achieving
results in 3 criminal and 12 civil cases, imposing 67
administrative remedies and obtaining 4 enforceable
The report's statistics are partly covered by ASIC's
2015/2016 to 2018/2019
Corporate Plan, on which we have
previously reported, which signalled a renewed focus on
financial services providers including investment banks, issuers,
brokers, lenders, financial market participants, responsible
entities, company directors, auditors and insolvency
ASIC has reaffirmed the areas of enforcement priority identified
in its Corporate Plan and reiterated a special focus on financial
services providers in relation to:
the quality financial advice, especially advice affecting
retirement savings and the selling of inappropriate financial
products and services;
the remediation of clients who have suffered loss as a result of
complex products, services and distribution models caused by
the culture within financial services providers and risks
arising from poor gatekeeper culture and conduct;
inadequate disclosure by companies and issuers of cyber threats;
corporate governance matters including issues concerning related
party transactions, inadequate company disclosure and financial
reporting and accounting fraud.
These latest developments highlight the importance of ensuring
you hold appropriate the licences for your financial services
business, that marketing materials are accurate and not misleading,
and that your financial advisers and other representatives know
their responsibilities and legal obligations when dealing with
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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This article includes five takeouts for robo advisers following RG 255: ASIC's new digital advice regulatory guide.
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