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ASIC

"Semantic Software Asia Pacific Limited (SSAP), an Australian research and development company based in Sydney, has released the first suite of its Semantic Computing Platform, Semantiro, described as a fundamental building block to achieving a complete cognitive environment."

That's what the company said in a press release so laden with buzzwords that we, honestly, have no idea what it's trying to tell us.

Australian regulators have other concerns and this morning ASIC obtained a Court Order to wind up the company and the appointment of provisional liquidators.

The reasons for the Order should be a warning for those buying mission-critical tech from unproven companies. Semantic was an artificial intelligence development company that based in North Sydney.

CoNet Section: 

In a criminal prosecution brought by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, ASIC, the financial regulator, two out of five criminal charges brought against an alleged fraudster were dropped because the witnesses in those cases became "unavailable." The charges related to conducting an unauthorised financial services business and to soliciting moneys which were used improperly.

Nevertheless, the accused has pleaded guilty to the remaining three charges at the door of the court before his trial commenced yesterday.

It's a long and convoluted story across years and jurisdictions as well as various enforcement agencies.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has brought the first charges against auditors for breach of accounting standards.

CoNet Section: 

Criminal charges have today been laid against Members Equity Bank Limited, also known as ME Bank, in the Australian Federal Court.

BIScom Subsection: 

There's more fallout from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has charged Allianz Australia Insurance Limited has been charged with seven counts, and AWP Australia Pty Ltd with one count, of making false or misleading statements regarding the sale of Allianz domestic and international travel insurance products.

BIScom Subsection: 

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has alleged that unlicensed financial advice is being given in relation to the development of property by a company headquartered in Perth and that it relates to an unlicensed investment scheme. The facts as set out by ASIC imply other issues, too. ASIC has frozen the assets of Monica Kaur, MKS Property Investments/Developments Pty Ltd (MKS Property), Paradise Property Group Pty Ltd (Paradise Property) as well as against Sadu Singh, Melvin Paul Singh and Stephanie Lee. All but Lee have been banned from leaving Australia.

BIScom Subsection: 

Press release: A recent ASIC surveillance has found that fund managers must do more to ensure their products are ‘true to label’ – that the product name aligns with the underlying assets.

BIScom Subsection: 

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has imposed additional conditions on the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Societe Generale Securities Australia Pty Ltd (SGSAPL) to ensure compliance with clients' money regulations.

FCRO Subsection: 

Société Générale Securities Australia is subject to criminal charges brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

SocGenSecAus? If you think that's silly, the acronym used by ASIC is worse: "SGSAPL". We'll just stick wiith "SocGen Securities".

BIScom Subsection: 

It's there. In plain sight. In the body of the press release from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. It's a statement that ASIC, having been found, damned by its own words and those of the industry, wanting in its supervision of the Financial Services Landscape, is taking the gloves off. It's not going to stand for any more poor compliance. It's going to make "ongoing efforts to improve standards across the financial services industry." So this case is going to be spectacular, isn't it?

BIScom Subsection: 

Using the trendy but woefully inaccurate term "oversight" when it means supervision ( see why here), ASIC "urges companies to apply a greater focus and sense of urgency to the oversight and management of non-financial risk..particularly compliance risk. Boards cannot afford to ignore the oversight of non-financial risks." The thing is that ASIC's findings show a failure of awareness of the legal position of directors in Australian companies.

CoNet Section: 

In the past year, two of Australia's most high profile departments have undergone so-called "rebranding exercises." ASIC and the ACCC have changed their logos. Was it worth it?

CoNet Section: 

Yesterday, it was reported that a former branch manager with National Australia Bank had been convicted of fraud and that other prosecutions were in the pipeline. Today, ASIC, the Australian financial regulator, has said that it has issued proceedings against the bank. Is it a coincidence? One thinks not.

BIScom Subsection: 

It's not the best way to start the week, much less the month. The first notice from Australian regulator The Australian Securities and Investment Commission tells that Macquarie Securities (Australia) Limited has been issued a penalty notice : ASIC "believes" the company "contravened" market integrity rules. The failure was of design, implementation and maintenance of compliance systems, not an intention to not comply, ASIC says. Plus ça change in so much of the financial sector, then.

BIScom Subsection: 

ASIC says that fixed coupon structured products are "complex, capital-at-risk products tied to the performance of reference shares," a definition that proves its point. Citigroup's advisers gave general advice, the company said. ASIC said retail customers "may have [been] led .. to believe that Citigroup was providing personal advice."

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