ASIC finalises IOOF inquiry
The corporate regulator has announced its inquiry into IOOF, which began last year following allegations of misconduct, has been completed.
In a statement, ASIC said it commenced inquiries in July 2015 after allegations were raised that an IOOF staff member had been involved in insider trading.
ASIC said its market surveillance team completed a review of the circumstances and trades involved but found the research reports had no material effect on the price of the relevant securities and there was no other evidence to warrant a formal investigation.
“As such, we have decided to take no further action in relation to these allegations,” ASIC said.
ASIC's inquiries also included a review into allegations relating to corporate governance and licensee breaches by IOOF.
This review found a number of concerns relating to IOOF's compliance arrangements, breach reporting, management of conflicts of interest, staff trading policy, disclosure, whistleblower management and protection and cyber security.
“We have raised these concerns with IOOF,” ASIC said.
“We have also advised IOOF that in our view the corporate culture at that time within IOOF contributed to these issues occurring.”
Concurrent with ASIC's inquiries, IOOF appointed PwC to conduct an independent review of its regulatory breach reporting policy and procedures and the control environment within its research team.
IOOF has made "significant" changes to its policies and procedures as a result.
“While ASIC welcomes such initiatives and steps taken by IOOF to rectify these issues, ASIC has also reached an agreement with IOOF to engage an external compliance consultant to conduct an expanded, broader and more comprehensive review of compliance arrangements within all IOOF business units,” ASIC said.
ASIC added it will continue to monitor and work cooperatively with IOOF and its board to ensure the necessary changes are properly effected.
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