Wealth management investigations up by 216%
ASIC has revealed a 216 per cent increase in the amount of wealth management investigations as part of a strategic change program that began in 2018, according to its 2018–19 annual report.
The corporate regulator said it significantly increased and accelerated its use of enforcement action, and is now looking to use the full extent of new penalties and powers.
In 2018–19, ASIC said there has been:
- a 20 per cent increase in the number of ASIC enforcement investigations;
- a 51 per cent increase in the number of enforcement investigations involving Australia’s largest financial institutions (or their officers, employees or subsidiary companies); and
- a 216 per cent increase in the number of wealth management investigations.
ASIC noted its establishment of the Office of Enforcement to carry out its strategy, including the implementation of its “Why not litigate?” operational discipline.
Further, the corporate regulator said it enhanced aspects of its supervisory approach, including its Close and Continuous Monitoring program and Corporate Governance Taskforce aimed at “promoting permanent cultural and behavioural change in financial firms and across the financial services market”.
“ASIC’s work has also been guided by the outcomes of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry,” ASIC said.
“Matters highlighted or referred to by the royal commission have been prioritised, and work continues on implementing ASIC’s new obligations and responsibilities included in its recommendations.”