12-245MR ASIC releases new information guides on reporting misconduct
Thursday 4 October 2012
ASIC has today released information about its approach to handling tip-offs, complaints, information of concern and reports of misconduct, to assist the public.
Each year, ASIC receives over 20,000 reports of misconduct from liquidators, auditors, financial service providers and the general public which are all received, acknowledged, analysed, assessed and recorded by ASIC’s national Misconduct and Breach Reporting Team.
ASIC Commissioner, Peter Kell said, ‘All reports of misconduct provide us with valuable information but not every matter brought to our attention requires us to take action. ASIC has produced these information sheets to assist the public and to explain how such cases are handled’.
Mr Kell noted that ASIC weighs every report of misconduct against four key questions:
What is the extent of harm or loss?
What are the benefits of pursuing the misconduct?
How do other issues, like the type and seriousness of the misconduct and the evidence available, affect the matter?
Is there an alternative course of action?
ASIC has released five information sheets covering:
‘In keeping with ASIC’s move to increase transparency around our processes, these information sheets explain how we approach and assess these reports as part of our overall approach to regulation. They also explain what other remedies or avenues of redress that the public should consider’, Mr Kell said.
‘We have also published Information Sheet 153 How ASIC deals with reports of misconduct as a brochure to help people better understand the factors we consider in our assessment of their misconduct report at the first point of contact. It outlines the timeframe in which we will communicate our decision on whether we will or will not consider a matter further.
‘Every piece of information we receive, whether it be a tip-off, complaint or report of misconduct is assessed by ASIC. From that initial assessment matters may be referred for surveillance or investigation. If they are not, we identify other things the person concerned should do. But all information received by ASIC is recorded, assessed and valued.
‘Not every matter referred for further consideration will result in an investigation. We have a number of regulatory tools available to us, including referring a report of misconduct to a specialist surveillance team within ASIC to seek compliance with the law we administer’, Mr Kell said.
To coincide with the release of these publications, ASIC has also redesigned its online material that deals with reporting misconduct.
The web pages are designed to get people to the right information at the right time and ultimately to a resolution. The information sheets support this by giving appropriate options for a course of action in common dispute circumstances.
The brochure, online material, information sheets and the recently updated online report form provide plainly stated information to guide people through the process of complaint resolution and, where indicated, reporting misconduct.
Information Sheet 151: ASIC’s approach to enforcement (INFO 151)