ASIC to Step-Up Enforcement Activity


We welcome the recent comments in the media attributed to Mr Greg Medcraft, ASIC Chairman, including the following:


* "We've got to have penalties that inject fear and overcome the urge someone may experience to break the law when driven by greed."


* "Those who break the law and cause severe damage should face tough penalties.  This will make them - and others - think twice about their actions." ("Penalties Need to Inject Fear: Medcraft", Financial Observer, 25 March 2014)


* "On the back of a Senate inquiry into ASIC and a recent report by the regulator, highlighting the disparity of sentencing in Australia and foreign jurisdictions, Mr Medcraft made it clear that he would like to see Australia introduce tougher civil and criminal penalties in line with the US and Europe." (ASIC Calls for White-Collar Reform", The Australian, 25 March 2014)


* "Medcraft laid out his agenda at yesterday's Australian Securities and Investments Commission forum, saying his aim was 'scaring the hell out of people who even think about doing the wrong thing' " (New Ways for ASIC to Catch Crooks, The Australian, 26 March 2014)


We note also the comment by Mr John Durie writing in The Australian on 26 March 2015, "The penalty decision in the APCHL case due mid year will set the tone for the directors duties cases, with the court ruling against the directors last December".


Prime Trust Action Group welcomes any initiative undertaken by ASIC to prioritise director duty penalties and eagerly awaits the outcome of the penalty hearings to be conducted in the Federal Court in late July 2014.