The corporate regulator has initiated a total of 256 criminal, civil and administrative “enforcement outcomes” in the six months to 30 June 2014, according to an ASIC report.
The ASIC Enforcement Outcomes: January to June 2014 report showed a total of 83 outcomes achieved in market integrity, corporate governance and financial services areas, and 173 in the small business area.
ASIC’s report mentioned outcomes such as the sentencing of former Sonray Capital Markets director Russel Johnson for his role in the collapse of the company and declarations made by the Federal Court of Australia that GE Money pay a penalty of $1.5 million for making false and misleading representations.
The sentencing of former WealthSure financial adviser Brian Veitch for six years and two months' imprisonment for charges relating to Mr Veitch “fraudulently withdrawing money from client accounts,” was also singled out in the report.
ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer said the corporate regulator’s “future and current areas of focus include the treatment of confidential information by listed companies, manipulation of financial benchmarks and improving auditor and liquidator standards, as well as the ongoing focus on advertising of financial products and the quality of financial advice”.
The report said that “where systems and controls do not prevent the release of confidential, market-sensitive information, [ASIC] will continue to take action for insider trading and breaches of continuous disclosure obligations to ensure that our markets are fair and efficient”.
ASIC said it would focus on taking action against credit providers for misleading consumers and loan fraud, and working with “overseas counterparts to combat cross-border fraud”.
Mr Tanzer added there has been a total of 24 enforcement outcomes in consumer credit in the past six months.
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