ASIC Investigations

An investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) can arise in a number of different ways, most commonly through company breach notices, customer complaints, or as a result of ASIC’s proactive surveillance work.

ASIC has information-gathering powers whereby it can request information from all entities, including, but not limited to, Australian Financial Services Licensees (AFSL), Australian Credit Licensees (ACL), accountants, market participants, Fintech companies, etc., if there is any reason to suspect misconduct or that the entity is not complying with their legal or regulatory obligations.

An Enforceable Undertaking (EU) is just one example of what may result from an ASIC surveillance or investigation.  Typically, an ASIC investigation will involve a number of notices, with ASIC requesting to see company policies and procedures, or to conduct interviews with employees to gather oral evidence.  In other cases, independent experts may also be appointed to examine client files or licensee procedures more closely.  

ASIC investigations can continue over a period of months or years, and, as a result, can be quite a daunting and costly experience for businesses.  However, there is help out there!  If your business is being investigated by ASIC, you may wish to seek legal advice.  An appropriate and complete response to any notice you have received may help you address ASIC’s concerns and minimise the need for further investigation.

Financial Services

In more recent years, ASIC has conducted robust surveillances in the financial services industry, particularly focusing on accountants with limited licensees, and larger financial institutions in relation to its advisers providing personal advice to retail clients.

To prevent, or to be prepared for an ASIC investigation, ensure your business is proactive with updating its compliance procedures and that you schedule in regular licensee reviews to ensure you stay on top of, and address, any concerns as soon as they arise.

We have assisted many clients with ASIC notices in the past, and are well-equipped to tackle any concerns your business may have.  Please contact one of our experienced financial services lawyers to see how we can assist.

Credit Remediation

If you are an Australian Credit Licensee and have been subject to an ASIC investigation, have identified compliance issues that need further investigation, or have breaches that need to be addressed, we have a dedicated credit team that can assist you with a remediation action plan and liaising with ASIC.  

Our lawyers have the expertise in conducting reviews (whether ASIC-initiated or proactively requested by clients) designed to assess how well Australian Credit Licensees and their representatives are meeting their regulatory obligations.  

You can contact our credit team directly for more information.

Dealing with the Regulator