Most businesses and business owners go their whole career without having to deal with an investigation by the regulator. If the regulator should come knocking on your door, some basic information about the process and tools they may use can help you respond professionally and appropriately.
A key and very active regulator is the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (‘ASIC’) which is the primary regulator for financial services in Australia. This article provides a high-level overview of the process that ASIC may adopt when an investigation involves your business.
See also our article 4 Practical Tips for Managing an ASIC Investigation for practical tips for engaging in that process. These tips can also apply to how you communicate with and respond to other regulators relevant to your business.
Changes in ASIC Activities
Since the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, ASIC has been increasing its enforcement activity significantly. While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed this enforcement activity somewhat, as Australia emerges from the impacts of the pandemic it is expected this activity will increase once again.
There are two key factors in successfully navigating an investigation by ASIC:
- Understand the process and tools that ASIC may use, and
- Seek specialist legal advice about the process and protections available to you.
Having this basic information about the process that ASIC adopts and how to navigate it will make the process less stressful and result in a better outcome.