Dodgy advice refunds hit $1.86bn

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 : 6-Aug-21

The fee-for-no-service scandal has now cost six of Australia’s biggest financial institutions more than $1.6bn in total. New data from the Australian Securities & Investments Commission shows that the four major banks, Macquarie Group and AMP paid out an additional $620.9m during the first six months of 2021. They have also paid out $224.6m in total to customers who received non-compliant financial advice. It has also been alleged that about 2,000 of AMP’s customers had continued to be charged fees after the institution was informed that they had died.

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

Westpac insurance sales misleading: ASIC

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 9-Apr-21

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission is taking legal action against Westpac in the Federal Court. ASIC claims that Westpac mis-sold credit card insurance to customers who did not want it, with more than 380 customers affected in a four-month period between April and July 2015. Westpac has stated that it will work with ASIC constructively through the court process, and that it has not sold credit card insurance since 2019. Credit card insurance came under scrutiny during the Hayne royal commission, and the big banks have stopped selling the product.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

ASIC on watch for phoenix revivals

Original article by David Ross
The Australian – Page: 18 : 18-Jan-21

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission will crack down on phoenix activity in the corporate sector as the federal government winds back insolvency protections that were introduced in response to COVID-19. ASIC commissioner Diana Steicke says the corporate regulator has no evidence to suggest that this will lead to an increase in phoenixing; however, she says ASIC will keep a watch on high-risk company directors and pre-insolvency advisers who could potentially engage in such activity.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

CBA faces penalty over rates slug

Original article by Joyce Moullakis, David Ross
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 2-Dec-20

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has launched legal action against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia over allegations that it breached financial services laws. ASIC contends that customers with business overdraft accounts were charged incorrect interest rates between December 2014 and March 2018. CBA has advised that 2,269 customers who were overcharged during this period have been reimbursed $3.74m in total. ASIC is seeking pecuniary penalties and other orders.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Shipton likely to follow Crennan in ASIC exit ‘by year’s end’

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 27-Oct-20

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s deputy chairman Daniel Crennan maintains that he had received advice that his expense claims had been line with the corporate regulator’s policy. Crennan formally resigned on 26 October in the wake of the expenses scandal that has embroiled himself and chairman James Shipton; Crennan indicated that he had intended to retire from ASIC in mid-2021 anyway. Meanwhile, former Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Allan Fels expects Shipton to resign before the end of 2020. Fels says ASIC has had a "very poor record over many years".

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

ASIC overhaul as chair faces exit

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 26-Oct-20

An independent review into the expenses of Australian Securities & Investments Commission chairman James Shipton is expected to be completed before the end of 2020. Shipton has stepped aside pending the outcome of the review, but sources have suggested that he is unlikely to remain in the role. ASIC’s acting chair Karen Chester is tipped to succeed Shipton, who has agreed to repay the expenses he incurred in relocating from the US to Australia. ASIC’s deputy chair Daniel Crennan will also repay expenses associated with moving from Melbourne to Sydney.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

Regulator won’t appeal wagyu and shiraz case

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 22-Jul-20

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has ruled out an appeal against Westpac’s court win over allegations that it breached responsible lending laws. The full Federal Court recently upheld an August 2019 ruling in Westpac’s favour, and ASIC is believed to have decided that it will not take the matter to the High Court. ASIC will instead urge the federal government to make changes to credit laws in order to clarify the responsible lending rules.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Banks get a break on customer obligations

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 16 : 26-Jun-20

The Banking Code of Practice, which was approved by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission in December, aims to implement recommendations of the Hayne royal commission. However, ASIC has announced that it has given banks a temporary reprieve from some of the code’s provisions. ASIC has stated that the impact of COVID-19 should be taken into account when considering if a bank has met its commitment to engage ethically and fairly with small business clients; ASIC also noted that banks may not always be able to meet timelines in the code for customer communication.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

Watchdog backs delay of Hayne banking reforms

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 16 : 29-May-20

Some of the recommendations arising from the Hayne royal commission were slated to be implemented in July. Australian Securities & Investments Commission chairman James Shipton has expressed support for the federal government’s decision to delay these reforms until the end of 2020, given the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on banks and the domestic economy. Shipton has also told a Senate committee that ASIC is watching out for fraudulent activity such as phoenix companies and attempts to scam people out of their superannuation savings via the early access scheme.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Regulator confident plans are in place

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Weekend Australian – Page: 26 : 29-Feb-20

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission is working with the Australian Financial Markets Association and large institutions to ensure that the coronavirus outbreak does not stop financial markets from remaining open. ASIC chairman James Shipton notes that it has a pandemic response plan in place, while ASIC’s executive director of markets Greg Yanco says the economic impact of the virus is uncertain. Shipton says ASIC has set up an internal working group to monitor the potential threat that the coronavirus poses and to work with other regulators.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL MARKETS ASSOCIATION INCORPORATED