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ASIC gives update on market enforcement outcomes

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ASIC has released its latest enforcement and regulatory update.

A total of 19 market enforcement litigation matters between 1 January and 30 June 2022 are still in progress, according to ASIC.

In the corporate regulator's latest enforcement and regulatory update, it has been confirmed that 11 criminal matters are still in progress, as are eight civil matters.

Four matters related to insider trading are still in progress, while there two emerging misconduct (cyber, crypto) and market manipulation matters still pending. 

Six outcomes have been finalised in relation to market enforcement, with the only two criminal matters both being insider trading.

There are also 28 outstanding corporate governance enforcement matters in progress, 25 of which being criminal matters relating to directors' duties and governance failures. 

Meanwhile, 36 outcomes were made between January and June with 32 of that number being administrative auditor misconduct matters.

In total, between 1 January and 30 June, 132 criminal charges were laid, with 25 individuals charged in criminal proceedings. $145.8 million was imposed in civil penalties by the courts, 31 individuals were removed or restricted from providing financial services or credit, and 26 individuals were disqualified or removed from directing companies.

Another 171 criminal charges were also laid in summary prosecutions for strict liability offences, while $26,640 was paid in infringement penalties.

Of the ongoing investigations, 60 have commenced and 148 are ongoing.

"During the quarter, we remained focused on protecting consumers and investors against misconduct and harms relating to financial products and services," ASIC said in a statement.

"We launched proceedings in the Federal Court against various entities where we allege that consumers had been misled or charged excessive fees. For the first time, we took action against a timeshare provider for breaches of the financial services laws.

"We called for improved resilience during market outages, warned investors to look out for green bond scams, and extended our product intervention order imposing conditions on the issue and distribution of CFDs."