ASIC to sue big banks in weeks

Original article by John Durie
The Australian – Page: 17 : 19-Aug-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s deputy chairman Daniel Crennan says it will shortly commence legal action against the four major banks, plus AMP and Macquarie Group. He adds that ASIC is still working on 13 matters that were referred to it by the Hayne royal commission, as well as a further 39 matters that were examined by the inquiry. Meanwhile, ASIC’s latest enforcement update shows that it accepted just one court-enforceable undertaking in the first half of 2019, compared with nine in the second half of 2018. ASIC’s reluctance to pursue litigation came under scrutiny by royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Banks face more Hayne pain: ASIC

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 17 : 29-Jul-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has launched about 25 cases against banks in the wake of the financial services royal commission. ASIC commissioner Sean Hughes says further legal action is pending, and he says it is possible that further misconduct and wrongdoings in the financial sector will emerge. Hughes adds that banks are starting to take their obligation to submit breach reports in a timely manner a lot more seriously following the royal commission.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

ASIC sues ANZ over $50m unlawful customer fees

Original article by Samantha Bailey
The Australian – Page: 24 : 26-Jul-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has filed Federal Court action against the ANZ Bank, alleging that periodic payment fees that some 460,000 customers paid between August 2003 and February 2016 were unlawful. ASIC will contend that the bank failed to disclose the fact that the fees may have been illegal until January 2014, despite being made aware of the issue in mid-2011. Affected customers were not informed until September 2015, and ANZ did not begin compensating them until August 2016. ANZ has indicated that it will "vigorously defend" the civil lawsuit.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Lending laws no problem, ASIC insists

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 17 & 18 : 8-Jul-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has been blamed in some areas for falling house prices and a decline in credit growth, due to a perception that it is taking a tougher approach to responsible lending. However, ASIC commissioner Sean Hughes notes that responsible lending laws have not changed since 2010, nor has its guidance in this area. ASIC advised in February that it will release an updated guidance note on responsible lending by September.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC

ASIC to rank companies by complaints

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 20 : 16-May-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission aims to increase the financial services industry’s accountability with regard to the handling of customers’ complaint. It will rank banks, insurers and superannuation funds on their performance on this issue, with the first data expected to be released by mid-2021. The move to increase the sector’s transparency has been welcomed by David Locke, the CEO of the Australia Financial Complaints Authority; it has received around 6,000 complaints per month since it was established in late 2018.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN CONSUMERS’ ASSOCIATION

‘Obey the law’: banks rebuked

Original article by James Frost, John Kehoe, Vesna Poljak
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 28-Mar-19

ANZ Bank CEO Shayne Elliott and National Australia Bank chairman Phil Chronican fronted the House of Representative economics committee on 27 March. They argued that greater enforcement of responsible lending laws has contributed to a credit squeeze for home buyers and small businesses. However, Australian Securities & Investments Commission chairman James Shipton rejects such claims, noting that banks have been subject to the responsible lending laws since 2009. ASIC’s deputy chairman Daniel Crennan in turn says banks face an increase in civil and criminal breaches of the law, and he has urged them to co-operate with the corporate regulator.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, JUDO CAPITAL PTY LTD, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, MLC LIMITED, NULIS NOMINEES (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Banks get a damning ASIC report card

Original article by Misa Han
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 18 : 12-Mar-19

Australia’s four major banks and AMP have set aside over $1 billion to compensate customers who were impacted by the fee-for-no-service scandal. However, along with Macquarie, they have been attacked by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission for the time it is taking them to identify and compensate customers who were affected by the scandal. ASIC has also criticised the big four banks, AMP and Macquarie for not conducting further reviews of the systemic failures that led to the scandal in the first place.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, CLSA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

AMP and Clayton Utz roll over for ASIC

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 12-Mar-19

An AMP spokesperson has confirmed that it has withdrawn its claim of legal and professional privilege over documents sought by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission regarding the fee-for-no-service scandal. Clayton Utz had been involved in the claim; the documents in question included notes taken by Clayton Utz in interviews with AMP employees over the scandal. ASIC deputy commissioner Daniel Crennan attacked AMP for trying to delay its investigation, although he said it was pleased that the sought documents had now been released.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, CLAYTON UTZ

‘Flawed but not illegal’: NAB digs in over fees for no service

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 20 : 26-Feb-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s case against National Australia Bank over claims that it charged customers for services that were not provided is due to go to court in May. NAB has conceded that it did the wrong thing in regard to customers who were not linked to a financial adviser, but the bank has rejected claims that it was in the wrong in instances where the customer was linked to a financial planner. It appears to be arguing that making advice available to this second group of customers justified the charging of a fee.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, MLC LIMITED

Criminal charges await bankers

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 3 : 20-Feb-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission released its response to the final report of the Hayne royal commission on 19 February. ASIC has disclosed that it is prioritising 11 instances of misconduct by eight companies or individuals in the banking sector that were referred to it by the inquiry, with a view to recommending criminal charges. ASIC is assessing an additional 16 cases to determine if there are grounds for prosecution, while it is also investigating 12 case studies that were presented to the royal commission but were not specifically referred to the corporate watchdog.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK ASIA, DOVER FINANCIAL ADVISERS PTY LTD, CLEARVIEW WEALTH LIMITED – ASX CVW