ASIC royal commission investigations falling short

Just one financial penalty has so far arisen out of the cases referred to ASIC following the royal commission, despite the regulator suggesting it has “made substantial headway” into investigations arising from the inquiry.

ASIC provided an update to the Senate economic references committee on its progress with royal commission cases to date, following questioning from One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts around how many individuals had been charged with criminal offences as a result of the inquiry.

“ASIC has made substantial headway into the investigations arising from the royal commission,” the regulator said.

ASIC stated that as of 9 November 2020, two criminal convictions had so far been made in connection with royal commission cases, with a further 11 matters before the courts.

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ASIC said 13 referrals had been made following the inquiry, but just one had so far resulted in penalties, with NAB owned super trustees NULIS Nominees and MLC Nominees ordered to pay $57.5 million as a result of fees for no service breaches.

The regulator said a further five referred cases were still the subject of civil litigation, and two remained under investigation.

Five of the referrals had concluded with no further action to be taken “following counsel’s advice and in consideration of all the risks and issues”, ASIC stated.

A number of other ASIC investigations had also resulted from case studies heard at the royal commission, the regulator said.

Of these, ASIC was currently seeking civil penalties in five related court cases, with a sixth civil penalty decision having been reserved.

The regulator said a further 10 case studies were still under investigation and five had been finalised.

Eleven of the case study matters had been concluded with no further action to be taken.

ASIC said it expected to finalise all of its royal commission investigations by early 2021.

ASIC royal commission investigations falling short
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