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ASIC

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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".

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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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How does your life insurance company compare to others when it comes to handling claims? Now, if you are in Australia, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have produced data comparing insurance companies' performance and launched a tool to help policyholders make comparisons.

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Australian financial services giant AMP and its solicitors Clayton Utz have "surrendered" in their objections to producing notes of meetings which they claimed were subject to legal professional privilege. ASIC's position is simple: it has wide ranging powers to compel the release of documents and it will accept only a narrow and strict definition of legal professional privilege.

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