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ASIC enforcement work secures $29.6 million in civil penalties

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The corporate regulator has provided a half-year update of its enforcement work, including about $29.6 million in civil penalties imposed by the courts as a result of actions it has taken on compliance failures.

In the January-June period the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) also commenced 12 civil penalty proceedings, targeting misconduct in insurance, superannuation, markets, auditing and credit.

One of the actions it took was against Westpac, alleging the lender allegedly mis-sold consumer credit insurance with credit cards and other credit facilities.

During the period ASIC commenced 52 investigations and there are now 204 such cases that are ongoing.

Additionally 19 individuals were charged in criminal proceedings and 143 criminal charges have been laid during the period.

“ASIC regulates the conduct of financial services and credit providers,” the regulator said in the update. “Our work in financial services is focused on improving consumer outcomes.

“We do this by addressing practices that result in consumer harm or create a risk of harm, particularly for vulnerable consumers.”

Click here for the enforcement update.