ASIC Secures $229.9 Million in Civil Penalties in FY 2021/2022

The Australian Securities and Investments
Commission (ASIC) said it secured a total of $229.9 million in civil penalties
from its enforcement actions during the 2021-20222 financial year.

The Australian corporate, markets and
financial services regulator also secured convictions against 33 individuals
during the period.

ASIC disclosed these figures in its Annual Report for 2021-2022 which
outlines its key regulatory and enforcement actions during the financial year.

One of the significant obligations ASIC
said it introduced during the period is protecting consumers’ interests and
reducing the risk of harm caused by poor design, distribution and marketing.

Earlier in August, ASIC had said its
four-year plan for 2022 to 2026, among other things, priortizes the design and
distribution of products and technology risks.

Furthermore, ASIC said it introduced a
breach reporting regime, a hawking prohibition and a deferred sales model during
its 2021-2022 financial year.

It explained that while the breach reporting regime
encourages its licensees to identity and report breaches in a timely
manner, the hawking prohibition tackles consumer harms caused by unsolicited product
offers.

On the other hand, the sales model is “aimed at improving consumer outcomes in the
add-on insurance market.”

‘A Year of Significant Law Reforms’

In a press statement released on Friday,
Joe Longo, ASIC Chair, noted that the regulator’s annual report “covered a year
of significant law reforms following on from the Financial Services Royal
Commission.”

ASIC said it took “strong and targeted
action” to rein in on activities harmful to consumers and the integrity of the
financial industry.

Last month, the regulator warned market intermediaries,
including brokers, against the risks of possible “identity theft and fraud”
following the Optus data breach.

ASIC also recently warned brokers to be
careful about offering high-risk investment instruments or products to retail
investors.

The regulator in the warning issued in August expressed concern about
brokers marketing themselves as ‘zero’ or ‘low cost’ platforms.

“We have worked with industry to bed down
significant reforms which offer consumers and investors greater protection from
poor behaviour, through more rigorous accountability and obligations on
providers of financial services,” ASIC explained in the new statement.

The ASIC Chair added that the Commission’s
corporate plan for the short-and-medium term focuses on areas of
increasing risk to consumers. This includes, among others, greenwashing claims and crypto
investment scams.

Meanwhile, ASIC approved 578 new licenses during
its 2022 fiscal year, according to its annual licensing report released last month.

The number of new licenses granted
between July 2021 and June 2022 jumped 26% year-on-year.

The Australian Securities and Investments
Commission (ASIC) said it secured a total of $229.9 million in civil penalties
from its enforcement actions during the 2021-20222 financial year.

The Australian corporate, markets and
financial services regulator also secured convictions against 33 individuals
during the period.

ASIC disclosed these figures in its Annual Report for 2021-2022 which
outlines its key regulatory and enforcement actions during the financial year.

One of the significant obligations ASIC
said it introduced during the period is protecting consumers’ interests and
reducing the risk of harm caused by poor design, distribution and marketing.

Earlier in August, ASIC had said its
four-year plan for 2022 to 2026, among other things, priortizes the design and
distribution of products and technology risks.

Furthermore, ASIC said it introduced a
breach reporting regime, a hawking prohibition and a deferred sales model during
its 2021-2022 financial year.

It explained that while the breach reporting regime
encourages its licensees to identity and report breaches in a timely
manner, the hawking prohibition tackles consumer harms caused by unsolicited product
offers.

On the other hand, the sales model is “aimed at improving consumer outcomes in the
add-on insurance market.”

‘A Year of Significant Law Reforms’

In a press statement released on Friday,
Joe Longo, ASIC Chair, noted that the regulator’s annual report “covered a year
of significant law reforms following on from the Financial Services Royal
Commission.”

ASIC said it took “strong and targeted
action” to rein in on activities harmful to consumers and the integrity of the
financial industry.

Last month, the regulator warned market intermediaries,
including brokers, against the risks of possible “identity theft and fraud”
following the Optus data breach.

ASIC also recently warned brokers to be
careful about offering high-risk investment instruments or products to retail
investors.

The regulator in the warning issued in August expressed concern about
brokers marketing themselves as ‘zero’ or ‘low cost’ platforms.

“We have worked with industry to bed down
significant reforms which offer consumers and investors greater protection from
poor behaviour, through more rigorous accountability and obligations on
providers of financial services,” ASIC explained in the new statement.

The ASIC Chair added that the Commission’s
corporate plan for the short-and-medium term focuses on areas of
increasing risk to consumers. This includes, among others, greenwashing claims and crypto
investment scams.

Meanwhile, ASIC approved 578 new licenses during
its 2022 fiscal year, according to its annual licensing report released last month.

The number of new licenses granted
between July 2021 and June 2022 jumped 26% year-on-year.

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