ASIC commission Greg Tanzer has defended the length of time taken to take enforcement action, while emphasising that jail sentences are not always the preferred option.
“Enforcement is all about punishing wrongdoing and through that shaping the behaviour of the people we regulate,” said Tanzer.
“We strongly stress that enforcement is often a contentious process that takes time and resolution is not always simple and swift. It requires evidence that, once tested, has to stand up in a court of law.”
Tanzer reiterated the regulator’s promise to crack down on brokers submitting fraudulent applications, as well as its focus on misleading advertising.
“Putting someone behind bars is the ultimate deterrent, but if we can change the market’s behaviour through other means we certainly will,” he said.
“Our enforcement initiatives reinforce ASIC’s priorities of ensuring investors are confident and informed and that market integrity is maintained.”
He referred to ASIC’s most recent enforcement report, in which it was revealed the regulator has over 20 investigations underway involving falsification of loan documents and loan applications.
“We’ve been very busy over the past six months and that momentum continues.”