ASIC outlines enforcement activity for the next 6 months
Nine in 10 of the corporate regulator’s small business enforcement activity in the second half of 2017 ended in court proceedings, ASIC said as it announces its focus on gatekeepers, including auditors and liquidators, in the next six months.
ASIC's enforcement report for 1 July to 31 December 2017, shows 90 per cent of all enforcement activity with small businesses ended with criminal proceedings.
Over the next six months, ASIC will focus its enforcement activities to insolvency practitioners and others who facilitate serious illegal phoenix activity and improper transactions in the face of insolvency.
The corporate regulator will also target company directors and officers who fail to stop their companies making illegal payments to officials of overseas governments; as well as ensuring responsible lending practices in the consumer credit industry.
Auditing standards will also come into focus, as ASIC seeks to crackdown on illegal phoenix activity.
Action against auditors accounted for 20 per cent of corporate governance misconduct, with a further 12 per cent against liquidators.
“This report highlights our ongoing commitment to ensuring that Australians can have trust and confidence in the financial system,” said ASIC commissioner Cathie Armour.
“Where there are practices in our markets and financial services industry that could create harm, ASIC will take enforcement action to protect investors and consumers."