ASIC next in line to be climate cop

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 24-Dec-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission will begin to legally enforce a requirement that listed companies must inform their shareholders and customers of any material risks from climate change. ASIC has not yet used this enforcement power under the Corporations Act 2001, but it intends to do so in 2020. Woolworths and Treasury Wine Estates are among the companies that have warned of the potential impact of climate change in their financial reports.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, TREASURY WINE ESTATES LIMITED – ASX TWE, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Bank stalled as ASIC demanded refunds

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 19-Dec-19

Court documents filed by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission show that National Australia Bank’s internal auditors had raised concerns about charging fees for services that were not provided in April 2016. NAB subsequently made a public admission about the practice, but ASIC executive Louise Macaulay told NAB in November 2017 that its customer remediation program was out of step with rival banks. ASIC subsequently rejected a number of proposed models for compensating NAB customers, while the bank continued to charge ongoing fees until February 2019.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

NAB to face legal pain over fee rort

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 18-Dec-19

National Australia Bank’s annual general meeting on 18 December will be overshadowed by allegations that it engaged in unconscionable conduct. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has filed a statement of claim in which it outlines some 8,700 instances in which NAB is alleged to have charged fees for services that were not provided between December 2013 and February 2019. Amongst other things, ASIC also alleges that NAB failed to issue adequate product disclosure statements. NAB has indicated that it has already paid $37.8m in compensation to customers who were affected by the fee-for-no-service scandal.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP

ASIC bans life and consumer credit insurance cold calls

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 5-Dec-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission will crack down on the practice of hawking in the financial services sector. Insurers will not be allowed to sell life and consumer credit insurance products via unsolicited telephone calls from 13 January. ASIC says no insurer had objected to the proposed ban during a consultation period. The Hayne royal commission had recommended a total ban on cold calling for all insurance and superannuation products.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, COMMINSURE, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, SELECT AFSL

Westpac lashed in advice ruling

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 29-Oct-19

The Federal Court has upheld the Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s appeal against a December 2018 judgment in favour of Westpac. The case had centred on Westpac’s use of cold-calling to urge its customers to switch their superannuation accounts from other providers to its BT subsidiary, and whether this constituted the provision of general or personal advice. Westpac could face a financial penalty of up to $15m if it decides not to appeal the ruling.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, BT FINANCIAL GROUP PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

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