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How courts and costs are undermining ASIC and the ACCC’s efforts to police misbehaving banks and businesses

Courts Governance Fair trading regulation Sector regulation Consumer protection Australia

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has come under heavy firefor taking the lighter option of securing undertakings from businesses in breach of the law, rather than tougher penalties.

But ASIC and the ACCC are soft targets. ASIC is under-resourced to pursue litigation of significant scale and duration, so it’s no surprise that it seeks agreed outcomes with offenders and cherry-picks the cases it will litigate with a view to getting most bang for its buck.

Even when ASIC has pursued litigation, the approach taken by Australian courts to penalties has contributed to an environment where contravening behaviour remains a rewarding option.

Read the full article on The Conversation.

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