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06-378 Working for Australia: ASIC Annual Report 2005-06
Working for Australia, the 2005-06 Annual Report of ASIC, illustrates how ASIC’s work for consumers, investors, business, and markets benefits the community by promoting higher standards and public confidence in Australia’s financial system’, ASIC Chairman, Mr Jeffrey Lucy, said.
The Report, tabled in Parliament today by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, The Hon. Chris Pearce MP, highlights ASIC’s priorities for the past year which included reducing risks associated with the introduction of superannuation choice and improving standards in the financial services sector for consumers and investors.
‘During the year, we expanded our Compliance Directorate to give greater emphasis to real-time regulation, added important new enforcement matters, acted against company insolvent trading, and launched our Better Regulation initiatives which aim to make the regulatory system ASIC administers easier to work with and ASIC more accessible and transparent’, Mr Lucy said.
‘In striving to continually raise industry standards, we also focussed attention and reinvigorated debate on how the financial services sector handles conflicts of interest.
‘We monitored 15 exchanges and financial markets, oversaw 4,415 licensed financial services businesses, acted against misleading and deceptive conduct in superannuation, insurance, managed funds, deposit accounts and credit and, maintained an increasingly popular public database on Australia’s 1.48 million companies.’
Mr Lucy said ASIC has also worked to strengthen the capacity of its Indonesian counterpart, Bapepam, through funding under the Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development, and continued its active involvement with a number of key international bodies, including the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
During the year, ASIC:
- Helped prevent widespread superannuation mis-selling through enforcement, compliance and education.
- Concluded enforcement proceedings against a record 352 people or companies, 94 per cent successfully. Managed an exceptional number of high profile, challenging investigations including HIH Insurance, the NAB currency traders, Westpoint, One.Tel, James Hardie, Offset Alpine Printing, Sons of Gwalia and the cross-agency tax-related investigation, Project Wickenby.
- Targeted the culture of denial in financially troubled companies and established a program to act against delinquent directors.
- Launched our Better Regulation initiatives, granted 2,565 approvals to help business transactions, and processed 45 million requests for business data, up 25 per cent.
- Exposed and litigated against conflicts of interest between advisers and their clients to raise industry standards.
- Ensured ASIC’s sustainability through additional funding and by investing in our people and technology.
Notable results included:
- Eight years jail for Bradley Cooper for corrupting an HIH executive
- Swift convictions (and subsequent jailing) of four NAB currency traders
- 90 per cent increase in civil orders obtained to halt misconduct and preserve assets
- 34 per cent increase in action against illegal investment schemes
- 21 per cent increase in new criminal proceedings with 17 jail sentences handed down
In the 2005/06 year, ASIC raised $543 million in revenue for the Commonwealth, against operating expenses of $218 million.
End of release