The community is the biggest winner from ASIC action with over $15 million paid in community benefits over the second half of last year.
The ASIC market integrity report for July to December 2018 reported $15.5 million in community benefit payments, which is an increase of close to $15 million from the first half of last year.
The large community benefit payment was made almost entirely by CBA after ASIC undertook court action against the bank for its bank bill trading business and their participation in setting the BBSW.
CBA admitted to attempting to influence the BBSW on five occasions in 2012 and failing to provide honest and fair advice, which resulted in a $5 million penalty payment and a $15 million community benefit payment.
ASIC was not available to comment when asked where these payments go but the payments are usually directed towards the Australian community.
In the January to June period of 2018, only $95,000 in payments was recorded, but $5 million in civil penalties was recorded in that period while only $3.65 million was reported in the second period.
The latest report also showed that two people were charged in criminal proceedings, three people were banned from providing financial services and $153,000 in infringement notices were paid.
The report had mixed results when compared to the first half of the year, with four criminal charges laid against two people for the second half of the year. Meanwhile, 200 criminal charges were laid against two people in the first half.
The second half also had three court enforceable undertakings compared to the previous half’s one and two financial services licences cancelled.
ASIC also advised on its enforceable undertaking with CBA in relation to their bank bill trading business and their participation in setting the BBSW.
The integrity report also found that high-frequency trading still had a substantial footprint in the Australian market but had fallen to around 25 per cent from a high of 33 per cent in 2015.
ASIC also advised on its proposed changes to the way certain derivative products must be reported, which will be affected from 1 July this year.
Eliot Hastie is a journalist at Momentum Media, writing primarily for its wealth and financial services platforms.
Eliot joined the team in 2018 having previously written on Real Estate Business with Momentum Media as well.
Eliot graduated from the University of Westminster, UK with a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism).
You can email him on: [email protected]