Government pushes tougher misconduct penalties

The government has proposed stronger penalties for financial sector misconduct, including longer prison sentences and larger fines.

Among the changes are double maximum imprisonment penalties and significantly increased financial penalties for some of the most serious ‘white-collar’ criminal offences, said Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

In addition, penalties for individuals for civil contraventions would also be increased more than fivefold, from $200,000 to $1.05 million, or three times the benefit gained (whichever is greater) from the contravention.

According to Mr Frydenberg, the draft legislation also seeks to:

  • introduce criminal offences that sit alongside strict and absolute liability offences;
  • harmonise and expand the infringement notice regime; and
  • introduce a new test that applies to all dishonesty offences under the Corporations Act.

“These proposed changes seek to implement key recommendations of the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce, and complement action the government has already taken including providing $70.1 million in additional funding to ASIC to bolster its enforcement capabilities and establishing a new one-stop shop for consumer complaints,” Mr Frydenberg said.

Government pushes tougher misconduct penalties
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Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is a deputy editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.

You can contact him on [email protected].

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