The corporate regulator has published a summary of its enforcement action to date relating to the Hayne royal commission, in lieu of the impending finale to the work carried out to address its findings.
In the summary ASIC details the 13 referrals made to the regulator in the commission’s final report, as well as the 32 additional case studies that led to ASIC investigations.
Stemming from the referrals, six civil cases were filed, two criminal cases were prosecuted, five investigations concluded that no further action was warranted and three matters remain before the federal court of under prosecution. A total of $79 million has been paid out in civil penalties so far.
The case studies saw 12 civil cases filed, four criminal cased prosecuted, one criminal brief referred, three no-actions and seven which are still before the courts or under prosecution. $31.59M has been paid in combined civil penalties from case studies.
Despite shedding its “why not litigate?” mantra in favour of a more accomodative approach, the regulator warned that it will continue chasing litigation when appropriate.
“ASIC’s work throughout this broad slate of matters reinforces our commitment to investigate where there are failures in the activities of our regulated entities. Based on what our investigations show, ASIC will continue to seek court outcomes including civil penalties and criminal prosecutions.”
The regulator also detailed its investigations into the fees-for-no-service cases it pursued, including NAB’s Nulis and MLC superannuation arms, State Super (now Aware), Westpac’s BTFG and CBA’s Avanteos Investments.
“Additionally, ASIC finalised an investigation into the alleged fees-for-no-service conduct by AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited arising from its Buyer of Last Resort Policy,” ASIC added. “This conduct was also the subject of inquiry and evidence at the Financial Services Royal Commission.”
The cases that fell under the “poor financial advice” were also part of ASIC’s summary list, including the cases involving Dover’s Terry McMaster, Sam Henderson and former RI Advice Group adviser John Doyle.
“The law imposes important obligations on financial advisers and advice licensees to protect the interests of consumers, including that the advice they receive meets their needs and objectives and is provided by advisers acting in their best interests,” ASIC highlighted. “However, the royal commission highlighted examples of serious non-compliance by advisers, which resulted in poor outcomes for consumers.”
Whlie several cases are ongoing, ASIC filed the last civil proceeding resulting from the royal commission, whereby it too ANZ to court for “misleading customers and failing to provide promised benefits” on December 9.