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5.5 Inter-agency collaboration on financial crime

ASIC collaborates with other Australian enforcement and regulatory agencies on serious and organised crime, including through the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT), the Fintel Alliance and the Phoenix Taskforce.

This year, ASIC’s Criminal Intelligence Unit released 159 intelligence products to partner agencies and received 272 intelligence reports.

We also provided to partner agencies our analysis of the potential exploitation avenues by serious and organised crime that may impact the Government’s COVID-19 pandemic economic response package

Serious Financial Crime Taskforce

The SFCT is a multi-agency initiative targeting offences related to serious fraud, cybercrime and defrauding the Commonwealth. In 2019–20, we continued our contributions to the priorities of the SFCT relating to international tax evasion, illegal phoenix activity, cyber crime affecting Australian taxation and superannuation, and a new priority of serious financial crime affecting the ATO-administered measures of the Commonwealth Coronavirus Economic Response Package.

From 2020 to 2023, we will continue to apply our increased taskforce funding to support our role in enforcement activities and criminal intelligence analysis.

Fintel Alliance

The Fintel Alliance is a public–private partnership between federal and state government intelligence and law enforcement agencies, private sector businesses, and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). During the year, ASIC accepted the invitation of AUSTRAC CEO Nicole Rose to become a member of the Fintel Alliance.

Phoenix Taskforce

In 2019–20, ASIC continued its collaboration with the federal, state and territory agencies in the ATO-led Phoenix Taskforce, which takes a whole-of-government approach to combating illegal phoenix activity, including undertaking joint operations.

Our work this year included presentations, panel discussions, and liaison with peer regulators, insolvency practitioners, professional bodies, small business and industry groups. Our ongoing work is focused on implementing recent law reforms, including developing regulatory guidance and sharing information between agencies to support further action. For more information about our work to combat illegal phoenix activity, see Chapter 3.