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2.2 Key results - investor, consumer and markets performance objectives

Table 2.2.1 sets out our key results for 2019–20 across our supervision, surveillance, enforcement, guidance and education work.

The number of supervisory, surveillance and enforcement actions we undertake, the value of fines imposed or people convicted, and the length of their sentences vary from year to year. The variations depend on factors such as the severity of breaches of the law and the complexity of the investigations we undertake.

Last year, we reformed our approach to supervision and surveillance to focus on onsite supervisory work, as set out later in this chapter. The objective was to proactively identify strategic activities in Australia’s most significant financial institutions and assess their effectiveness. The COVID-19 pandemic also meant that onsite supervisory work was not possible from March 2020. Both of these circumstances impacted on our supervision work and the number of activities reported below.

ASIC also moved to a new regulatory workflow platform in 2019–20. As a result, the way enforcement activities are recorded has changed. Some statistics reported in previous years, including the number of investigations completed and the time taken to complete investigations, are not reported this year. We have included further information about the timeliness of our enforcement work and about increases in relevant enforcement activity within the section on Enforcement.

Table 2.2.1 Key results

Outcome

Total
2019–20

Total
2018–19

Onsite supervisory exercise1

Onsite supervisory exercises commenced

5

6

Findings letters issued

6

4

Number of days onsite

98

124

Number of representatives met during onsite supervisory exercises

357

462

Surveillance

Surveillances complete2

Over 1,250

Over 1,200

Instances of potentially misleading or deceptive promotional material withdrawn or amended3

48

37

Interim stop orders and final stop order4

22

N/A

Enforcement

Investigation5

Investigations commenced

134

126

Criminal actions

Criminal litigation completed

35

33

Criminal litigation completed successfully (as a percentage)

90%

89%

New criminal litigation commenced

38

14

Number of people convicted

30

27

Custodial sentences (including fully suspended)

22

14

Non-custodial sentences/fines

8

16

Total dollar value of fines

$731,650

$266,050

Civil actions

Civil litigation completed

37

75

Civil litigation completed successfully (as a percentage)

97%

96%

New civil litigation commenced

50

55

Total dollar value of civil penalties

$24.9m

$12.7m

Administrative action6

Administrative actions completed

39

84

New administrative actions commenced

31

61

Administrative outcome7

People disqualified or removed from directing companies8

51

59

Action taken against auditors and liquidators

62

55

People/Companies removed, restricted or banned from providing financial services9

79

85

People/Companies removed, restricted or banned from providing credit services

29

97

Court enforceable undertakings10

Court enforceable undertakings accepted

0

10

Infringement notices11

Total number of infringement notices issued

4

14

Total dollar value of infringement notices

$671,000

$731,700

Summary prosecutions

Summary prosecutions for strict liability offences

248

369

Total value of fines and costs

$793,670

$1.6m

Compensation agreed in court enforceable undertakings12

Compensation or remediation

$0

$19.7m

Community benefit payments

$0

$15.6m

Relief applications

Relief applications received

1,308

1,455

Relief applications approved

919

963

Relief applications refused or withdrawn

217

297

Relief applications in progress

172

195

Licensing and professional registration activities

AFS licences, including limited AFS licences (new and variations)

Applications approved

741

822

Applications refused/withdrawn

248

315

Licences cancelled/suspended

333

358

Applications in progress

484

455

Australian credit licences (new and variations)

Applications approved

233

356

Applications refused/withdrawn

117

221

Licences cancelled/suspended

390

552

Applications in progress

158

104

Registered auditors – registered company auditors, authorised audit company and SMSF auditors

Applications approved

116

148

Applications refused/withdrawn

38

59

Licences cancelled/suspended

521

568

Applications in progress

11

11

Registered liquidators

Applications approved

17

12

Applications refused/withdrawn

4

2

Applications in progress

11

9

Stakeholder engagement

Meetings with industry groups and other stakeholders13

Over 2,100

Over 1,400

Consultation papers published

15

13

Industry reports published

44

45

Guidance

New or revised regulatory guides published

29

23

New or revised information sheets

31

27

Legislative instruments made, amended and repealed

50

53

Education

Users visiting ASIC’s Moneysmart website14

10.4m

8.4m

Average number of users to the Moneysmart website per month

979,957

832,000

Number of users who have used a Moneysmart online tool

3.4m

2.7m

Average number of users using a Moneysmart tool per month

325,027

266,000

1 These are enhanced institutional supervisory exercises conducted by the close and continuous monitoring team. Onsite supervisory activities were temporarily suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, these results reflect exercises undertaken in the second half of 2019 plus one week in 2020.

2 This includes over 80 surveillances involving an onsite presence.

3 This includes corrective disclosures obtained from the websites of entities.

4 New measure for 2019–20.

5 Investigations for these purposes meet the definition in section 13 of the ASIC Act and section 247 of the National Credit Act.

6 Administrative actions completed and commenced refer to enforcement action following a formal investigation, as defined by section 13 of the ASIC Act and section 247 of the National Credit Act.

7 This includes all disqualifications, suspensions, cancellations and bannings resulting from surveillance and enforcement activities.

8 This includes five bannings arising from civil proceedings, where the court ordered the defendants be banned from financial services.

9 This includes six disqualifications arising from civil proceedings, where the court ordered the defendants be disqualified from directing companies.

10 ASIC did not accept any court enforceable undertakings in 2019–20 and is instead focusing on accelerating court-based enforcement outcomes.

11 These notices were issued for infringements related to the market integrity rules and ASIC derivative transaction rules. Compliance with infringement notices is not an admission of guilt or liability and these entities are not taken to have contravened the law.

12 Compensation or remediation programs monitored by ASIC are not reflected in this statistic. Amounts in compensation, remediation or community benefit payments reported in previous years were agreed in court enforceable undertakings accepted by ASIC.

13 These meetings involve ASIC operational staff at all levels. This year’s data reflects the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and our focus on ensuring ASIC remains engaged with our regulated population.

14 The number of people visiting the Moneysmart website includes users from around the world. Of the 10.4m users, 9.6m (92%) were in Australia using an Australian IP address.