On Tuesday, ASIC announced that criminal proceedings against the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) have been dismissed due to the underlying criminal charges being statute barred.
In October 2021, the bank pleaded guilty to 30 criminal charges of making false or misleading representations to customers when selling consumer credit insurance.
This conduct, which was contrary to ss 12GB(1) and 12DB(1)(e) of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001, was reported to have occurred between 2011 and 2015, and the proceedings were filed in 2021.
“On 28 November 2022, in respect of a separate matter, the Full Court of the Federal Court found that the effect of s 12GB(6) of the ASIC Act is to create a limitation period requiring proceedings for an offence against s 12GB(1) of the ASIC Act to be commenced within three years after the commission of the offence,” ASIC explained.
“The effect of this decision was to render the charges against the CBA invalid as they were statute barred.”
The Federal Court made orders by consent dismissing the proceedings against CBA and that each party bear its own costs on 14 December 2022.
The matter was being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions following an investigation and referral by ASIC.