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Senator Jacqui Lambie has voted against changes to the Future of Financial Advice reforms. Alan Porritt/AAP

FOFA fiasco: no quick fix for the advice industry

Last week brought the latest instalment in the continuing Australian financial planning industry saga. Senators Jacqui Lambie and Ricky Muir blocked the Abbott government’s rollback of some of Labor’s…
A national financial planning register is unlikely to prevent future scandals similar to those of the Commonwealth Bank. AAP

National financial planning register will just list problem, not solve it

Under changes proposed by the government, financial planners will be required to register with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission from next March. They will need to provide details of…
The performance of ASIC in regulating financial fraud remains under question, despite Chairman Greg Medcraft’s recanted statement that Australia is a “paradise” for white-collar criminals. Britta Campion/AAP

Do the crime, do the time? Not if you’re a banker in Australia

Recently, the head of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Greg Medcraft, called Australia a “paradise” for white-collar criminals. Soon after he recanted, claiming he didn’t want the…
Screen shot at PM.

Infographic: insider trading in Australia

The typical insider trader is male, aged between 30 and 49, and holds a company director position, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Melbourne. The study analysed all insider…
Woolworths' attempt to takeover David Jones has raised questions about whether shareholder approval should be mandatory. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Takeovers should require go-ahead from shareholders

The fastest growing sector in the economy today is not mining, retailing or even education. It’s superannuation, which accounts for almost 30% more than the total savings held by the banking and mutual…
The spotlight is on the David Murray’s Financial System inquiry following a report critical of the Commonwealth Bank and Australia’s corporate regulator. AAP/Joel Carrett

No Royal Commission; but banks not too big to be held to account

The Senate inquiry in the actions of the Commonwealth Bank and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission has drawn a line in the sand, holding the banks and financial advisers to account for…
The Commonwealth Bank and ASIC may face a Royal Commission. AAP/Dan Peled

Call for Commonwealth Bank, ASIC to face Royal Commission

A senate inquiry has called for the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and Australia’s corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), to be investigated by a Royal Commission. The…
ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer has this week faced the scrutiny of a Senate committee hearing. AAP/Paul Miller

Low penalties, high costs: ASIC needs legislative reform

In 2005, the Federal Court faced the difficult task of arriving at a penalty for Steve Vizard after he was found in breach of his duties as a director of Telstra. In his judgment, Raymond Finkelstein criticised…
ASIC warns: forex currency trading requires a high degree of skill, and consumers should be aware of the risks and potential for loss. Image of finance chart with sell/buy dice from www.shutterstock.com

Gambling on the dollar: time to reign in forex trading

With the value of the Australian dollar falling more than 10 cents in the past few months, should we all be hedging our bets and trading the Aussie for a fast profit? There’s no shortage of foreign currency…
Simplifying the disclosure required for employee share schemes will be welcomed by companies, but employees still need to read the fine print. jeff_golden/Flickr

Read the fine print on simpler employee share schemes

The implementation of employee share schemes could be expanded and the red tape surrounding them relaxed under policy reforms being considered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. While…
Former Gunns chairman John Gay is the most senior executive to have been convicted of insider trading in Australia. He received a fine of $50,000. David Beniuk/AAP

Insider trading gets more scrutiny, but convictions may not flow

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is moving to “real-time” monitoring of share trading as another weapon in the ongoing fight against insider trading. But will the use of this form of…
While ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft this week warned the Australian funds management industry to clean up their act, in the UK, financial regulators will soon have the power to intervene directly in the market. AAP

ASIC lacks bite as UK regulators chew down on financial spruikers

In opening the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) forum this week, chairman Greg Medcraft pulled no punches. “Manufacturers [i.e. banks and financial institutions] - and, frankly, this…
Are the algorithms used in high frequency trading a threat to the markets themselves? ASIC says the danger is “overstated” but the FBI and the SEC have joined forces. AAP

The rise of the machines: High Frequency Trading and dark pools

In language that is more in keeping with hackers and crime syndicates, the Financial Times reported last week that the FBI was going to assist securities regulators in the US to tackle “dark pools” and…
As the ABC’s Four Corners explored, small investors are being caught in an unregulated investment market, often with devastating results. Has the corporate regulator dropped the ball - or is it juggling too many? ABC Four Corners

As casualties pile up, has our investment sector become too big to regulate properly?

Stephen Long’s story last night on the ABC’s Four Corners beautifully illustrated the human cost of financial misconduct, as retirees and widows described the pain of having lost their super funds and…
The Whitehaven Coal hoax showed changes to continuous disclosure guidelines to address the role of social media and trading halts are needed, but the guidelines are not without their problems. AAP

Continuous disclosure: social media and the two sides to trading halts

In a fragile world and with a particularly fragile share market, Australia’s corporate regulators have seen their role in policing the area of continuous disclosure multiply. Disclosure requirements are…
How will ASIC cope with the pressure it’s under to punish coal hoaxer Jonathan Moylan? State Records NSW

ASIC and the great coal hoax

Will anti-coal activist Jonathan Moylan receive justice if he is charged over his hoax? ASIC, which will formally interview Moylan next week, is under enormous pressure to “make an example” of the 24-year…

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