The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said it has secured a total of $229.9 million in civil penalties from its enforcement actions during the 2021-2022 financial year.

Additionally, the Australian corporate, markets and financial services regulator secured convictions against 33 individuals during the period.

ASIC disclosed these figures in its Annual Report for 2021-2022 which outlines its key regulatory and enforcement actions during the financial year.

One significant obligation that ASIC said it had introduced during the period is protecting consumers’ interests and reducing the risk of harm caused by poor design, distribution and marketing.

Earlier in August, ASIC had said its four-year plan for 2022 to 2026, among other things, prioritizes the design and distribution of products and technology risks.

Furthermore, ASIC said it had introduced a breach reporting regime, a hawking prohibition and a deferred sales model during its 2021-2022 financial year.

It explained that while the breach reporting regime encourages its licensees to identify and report breaches in a timely manner, the hawking prohibition tackles consumer harm caused by unsolicited product offers.

However, the sales model is “aimed at improving consumer outcomes in the add-on insurance market.”

‘A Year of Significant Law Reforms’

In a press statement released on Friday, Joe Longo, the Chairman of ASIC, noted that the regulator’s annual report “covered a year of significant law reforms following on from the Financial Services Royal Commission.”

ASIC said it took “strong and targeted action” to rein in harmful activities to consumers and the integrity of the financial industry.

Last month, the regulator warned market intermediaries, including brokers, against the risks of possible “identity theft and fraud” following the Optus data breach.

On top of that, ASIC recently warned brokers to be careful about offering high-risk investment instruments or products to retail investors.

The regulator in the warning issued in August expressed concern about brokers marketing themselves as ‘zero’ or ‘low cost’ platforms.

“We have worked with industry to bed down significant reforms which offer consumers and investors greater protection from poor behaviour, through more rigorous accountability and obligations on providers of financial services,” ASIC explained in the new statement.

The Chair of ASIC added that the Commission’s corporate plan for the short-and-medium term focuses on areas of increased risk to consumers. This includes, among others, greenwashing claims and crypto investment scams.

Meanwhile, ASIC approved 578 new licenses during its 2022 fiscal year, according to its annual licensing report released last month.

The number of new licenses granted between July 2021 and June 2022 jumped 26% year-on-year.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said it has secured a total of $229.9 million in civil penalties from its enforcement actions during the 2021-2022 financial year.

Additionally, the Australian corporate, markets and financial services regulator secured convictions against 33 individuals during the period.

ASIC disclosed these figures in its Annual Report for 2021-2022 which outlines its key regulatory and enforcement actions during the financial year.

One significant obligation that ASIC said it had introduced during the period is protecting consumers’ interests and reducing the risk of harm caused by poor design, distribution and marketing.

Earlier in August, ASIC had said its four-year plan for 2022 to 2026, among other things, prioritizes the design and distribution of products and technology risks.

Furthermore, ASIC said it had introduced a breach reporting regime, a hawking prohibition and a deferred sales model during its 2021-2022 financial year.

It explained that while the breach reporting regime encourages its licensees to identify and report breaches in a timely manner, the hawking prohibition tackles consumer harm caused by unsolicited product offers.

However, the sales model is “aimed at improving consumer outcomes in the add-on insurance market.”

‘A Year of Significant Law Reforms’

In a press statement released on Friday, Joe Longo, the Chairman of ASIC, noted that the regulator’s annual report “covered a year of significant law reforms following on from the Financial Services Royal Commission.”

ASIC said it took “strong and targeted action” to rein in harmful activities to consumers and the integrity of the financial industry.

Last month, the regulator warned market intermediaries, including brokers, against the risks of possible “identity theft and fraud” following the Optus data breach.

On top of that, ASIC recently warned brokers to be careful about offering high-risk investment instruments or products to retail investors.

The regulator in the warning issued in August expressed concern about brokers marketing themselves as ‘zero’ or ‘low cost’ platforms.

“We have worked with industry to bed down significant reforms which offer consumers and investors greater protection from poor behaviour, through more rigorous accountability and obligations on providers of financial services,” ASIC explained in the new statement.

The Chair of ASIC added that the Commission’s corporate plan for the short-and-medium term focuses on areas of increased risk to consumers. This includes, among others, greenwashing claims and crypto investment scams.

Meanwhile, ASIC approved 578 new licenses during its 2022 fiscal year, according to its annual licensing report released last month.

The number of new licenses granted between July 2021 and June 2022 jumped 26% year-on-year.