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BFCSA: More ASIC Diatribe 2007 - you will need tissues, says Gladys

Posted by on in Toxic Mortgage Loans
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Give more ammunition to ASIC: Costello

13 March, 2007

CORPORATE WRONGDOING may attract civil sanctions and higher penalties under a discussion paper released by the Treasury last week into corporate law reform.  The paper accords with a wider governmental strategy to explore ways of reducing regulatory burdens and simplify existing laws.   One proposal discusses the expansion of civil sanctions in corporate law to add more firepower to those policing dubious corporate behaviour, along with the possibility of increased penalties.

The review is intended to strike a balance between the need to have strong sanctions that deter and punish corporate wrongdoing and protect the market’s integrity, as well as foster a competitive business environment.  In a speech given to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) summer school, Treasurer Peter Costello praised the strong record of the regulatory body.

“ASIC’s enforcement record is a great testament to the assiduous work of ASIC in protecting mum and dad investors from corporate crooks and they have a record of which they can be proud,” Costello said.  The Treasurer also highlighted the potentially far-reaching damage that corporate wrongdoing can have on the national economy.  The paper reviews sanctions available under the Corporations Act 2001 and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001. A discussion paper was concurrently released on the use and effectiveness of infringement notices issued by ASIC.


Also speaking at the event, ASIC chairman Jeffrey Lucy stressed the importance of the regulatory body assisting Australia’s position in the global market by maximising its potential with a strong base of effective regulation.  “Given Australia’s prominence in the Asia-Pacific region, as our Treasurer said, it is imperative that we continue to build our businesses, competing globally to survive, on foundations of a sound internationally-accepted regulatory regime,” Lucy said.  The strong performance of the “most resilient economy in the world” has been aided by the effectiveness of ASIC, for in Lucy’s words, “much of this economic success can be attributed to our regulatory regime here in Australia — a balanced, principles-based approach to disclosure, fundraising, corporate governance and the provision of financial services and products”.

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  • doyla66
    doyla66 Wednesday, 04 June 2014

    Thought I was going to fall off my chair laughing at this. How sanctimonious of Costello and Lucy. ASIC must be God's gift to fixing the worlds problems. HaHa. This is not the ASIC I know.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Saturday, 07 June 2014

    Exactly, Nanna. Lots of grand statements about what they really want ASIC to be, but where is the evidence that any of this is true? How well did the rubber hit the road after all these public rants and PR exercises, designed to inspire confidence?
    ASIC has to comply with whichever political colour is in at the time, despite the illusion that they're solidly and steadfastly regulating business.
    We were pleasantly surprised to discover an ASIC representative clearly stating that ASIC doesn't deal with individual consumer complaints. They look for systemic issues that affect lots of consumers. But ASIC like us to share our complaints with them for their collective picture of what's going on, even if they aren't doing anything specific with that complaint.
    At last! they're being honest about what they're really doing. After years of confusion and disappointment about ASIC apparent disinterest in our cases that was nice.
    It didn't help the situation, unfortunately. The only option for individual case attention was to go to FOS.
    Those limits at FOS have to change if this is the real picture. A $280K limit on compensation for a $1m loan that is riddled with fraudulent use of income and other financial facts (well, we thought they were facts, on third party statements and tax returns) is frankly ridiculous! Throwing out suspected non-UCCC loans when there is no where else to go with these dinosaurs is very unfair.
    There is plenty of work to be done before the consumer credit complaints handling meets ordinary consumer expectations. As it stands there are too many gaps in delivery of this important service and not enough informed people to assist disabled and disadvantaged consumers in getting to the right place for their cases.
    Of course, prevention should be the focus of our regulators. Instead it is largely reactionary responses, trying to partially close gates while the horses play in the top paddock. Their objective seems to be let's if there's a real problem and see if we can contain only the worst offenders who might embarrass us in the media! As always, when a regulator is taking legal action it is always too little, way too late and a lack of real successes in the Courts. Plea bargains do not satisfy the long suffering consumers desire to see justice done and the guilty party suffer at least as much as the wronged parties have. Forgetting the 'white collar' and just treating those who break the law in financial services as ordinary criminals may assist judges and regulators when considering appropriate punishment for the sometimes massive financial and personal damage that these people do to their clients. Both politicians and regulators seem to shy away from biting the bullet on white collar crime. Deliberately ripping people off and breaking their lives down to starvation and destitution without a conscience is more than "misconduct"! The colour of the collar shouldn't matter in the real justice system.

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