Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) are Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services controller. ASIC add to Australia’s monetary reputation and wellbeing by guaranteeing that Australia’s money related markets are reasonable and transparent, bolstered by certain and educated financial specialists and buyers. ASIC are a free Commonwealth Government body and they are commissioned by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (ASIC Act), and we do the greater part of their work under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act). The ASIC Act obliges ASIC to; keep up, encourage and enhance the execution of the money related framework and entities in it, advance sure and educated interest by speculators and buyers in the budgetary framework, oversee the law successfully and with minimal procedural prerequisites, implement and offer impact to the law, get, process and store, proficiently and rapidly, data that is given to them, and make data about organizations and different bodies accessible to general society when practicable  (Chapman, 2005). This paper will focus on discussing the roles functions and powers of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and why ASIC commenced legal proceedings seeking civil remedies from the courts in ASIC v Vizard (2005).

  • Roles, functions and powers of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission

The size and development of Australia’s economic sector and the way that a large number of Australians are participants, not slightest due to necessary superannuation, makes it fundamental that advanced and versatile regulations are set up and controllers, for example, ASIC play their role effectively. As a key financial controller, the ASIC’s role should be to place first the interest of the population first. ASIC’s role and its execution need to be considered in the setting of the developing significance of Australia’s financial front. The Australian financial industry has grown in leaps and bounds since the advent of the superannuation in the early 1990’s. Nonetheless, this development was preceded by development in the business in the late twentieth century in reaction to a scope of deregulation measures including the gliding of the Australian dollar, foreign banks entry and bank deposits control removal (Australia, 2012).

Adding to Australia’s financial sector growth has been the expansion of the worldwide presence of Australia’s financial services and a positive shift in the balance of trade. The move by ASIC of privatization in 1990s and demutualization of various financial suppliers gave opportunities to investors to take part in equity ownership. In the Australian stock exchange, the equity ownership has shown a significant growth since 1991 as people are investing directly and indirectly. The financial sector forms the majority of the companies in the Australian stock exchange. The ASIC as the major financial regulator should ensure that the shareholders enjoy a significant increase in their share prices and ensure a buffer zone for them in case of a financial crisis. This development in superannuation trusts ought to give a strong foundation to the development in the financial service industry, for the most part, with a considerable bit of these trusts to be invested in equities and giving liquidity. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission should have laid down procedures on how the Australian financial service sector should interact with international markets and how it would benefit economically in a vision of being a regional financial service hub. 

ASIC supervises organization enrollment and notices and is tasked with ensuring that organizations, plans, executives, organization officers, evaluators, bankruptcy specialists and other market members satisfy their legitimate commitments. ASIC licenses suppliers of monetary/financial services. It likewise licenses and directs people and organizations that take part in activities of consumer credit. Moreover, ASIC’s role of market regulation makes it in charge of overseeing operators in the financial market and all the entities involved, including trading on Australia’s authorized markets. ASIC has a developing administrative remit and works in a global environment that is dynamic. The forces of business based financing, budgetary development driven unpredictability and globalization that are converging on the monetary framework, create opportunities to finance economic growth; then again, they likewise create risks. The role of the ASIC as the controller is to react rapidly to the matters that require consideration, illuminate and educate financial specialists and consumers so they can settle on sure and informed choices, and guarantee the ability to viably control financial related markets, budgetary items and financial services suppliers (Australia, 2013).

ASIC was established in 1991 and the primary reason for the Australian Securities Commission, as ASIC was then known, was to regulate organizations and the securities and future businesses in Australia.  ASIC’s obligations have expanded from that point forward after different changes sought after by subsequent governments, including as a consequence of intergovernmental assertions that brought about the Commonwealth taking over specific obligations from the states and regions. Specifically, ASIC picked up huge new obligations somewhere around 2009.

ASIC can register companies and manage investment plans; give Australian financial services licenses and Australian credit licenses; register financial auditors, liquidators and superannuation auditors; award relief from different administrative prerequisites; make standards geared towards guaranteeing the trustworthiness of budgetary markets; arrange the liquidation of an organization in specific circumstances; and force a stop request if a product information is faulty. To enable it to convey out its functions, ASIC has been allowed a variety of investigative and authorization apparatuses under the ASIC Act and the Corporations Act. 

Powers and functions – national scheme laws Section 11 of the ASIC Act stipulates that the ASIC has such capacities and powers as are presented on it by the accompanying laws: the Corporations Law of the Capital Territory, the Corporations Act 1989 and the ASIC Act. ASIC Act section 11(1A), states that the ASIC has the capacities expressed to be conferred upon the National Companies and Securities Commission (NCSC). Section 11(4) of the ASIC Act stipulates that the ASIC has the power to do whatever it deems appropriate for or regarding, or sensibly incidental to, the execution of its functions. Section 13 part 3 division 1 of the ASIC Act provides for the ASIC influence to make investigations as it considers convenient on national scheme law  in connection to organizations and money related administrations where the ASIC has motivation to suspect that there may have been a contravention of one of the national scheme laws or a contradiction of a law of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory identifying with administration of the undertakings of a body corporate or an investment scheme or which includes extortion or deceptive nature. Division 3 of Part 3 of the ASIC Act provides for the ASIC energy to examine the books of an organization. Section 29 gives that the ASIC may examine books without charge. Section 30 enables the ASIC to issue a composed notification obliging the books about the undertakings of a body corporate or an enrolled plan to be produced to the ASIC. Division 4 of Part 3 of the ASIC Act provides for the ASIC power to oblige a merchant to reveal data identifying with a securing or transfer of securities, Section 44 provides for the ASIC power to oblige a futures intermediary/broker to uncover to the ASIC details of dealings by the futures dealer in a futures contract and regardless of whether the merchant was managing for someone else’s sake or not (Bevan, 2002).

  • Why ASIC commenced legal proceedings seeking civil remedies from the courts in ASIC v Vizard (2005)

Mr. Stephen William Vizard was a director of Telstra Corporation Limited in 2000. He had likewise started the company called Creative Technology Investments Pty Limited (CTI), of which his bookkeeper, Mr. Lay, was the only director and equity shareholder. In December 1999, Brigham Pty Limited (Brigham) was a trustee organization, the shares of which were usefully claimed by Mr. Vizard, his wife, and their children. Brigham went into loans agreements with CTI by which it made credits to CTI from trusts given by Mr. Vizard. The credit funds were to be connected toward the buy of a share portfolio. Mr. Vizard went into three offer exchanges in 2000 on the grounds that he acquired private data in his ability as an executive of Telstra, which demonstrated to him that the exchanges would be beneficial. To begin with, Mr. Vizard was part of the confidential discussions by Telstra to hold a vital stake in Sausage Software Limited and Solution 6 Holdings Limited. The second exchange identified with shares that CTI had gained in Computershare Limited, on Mr. Vizard’s guideline. Telstra held 15 % interest in Computershare. The third exchange included a securing by Telstra of interest in Keycorp Limited. Mr. Vizard figured out that on the announcement of the interest in Keycorp limited shares, the share prices would go up. Mr. Vizard informed Mr. Lay to procure various Keycorp shares. The cost of Keycorp shares did actually increase after the declaration and Mr. Vizard eventually endeavored to understand a benefit by instructing Mr. Lay to discard the shares   (Bedwell, 2007). On these three occasions, Mr. Vizard had contravened Section 183(1) of the Corporations Act which states that, “an individual who acquires data in light of the fact that they are or have been, a director or other officer or worker of a company should not dishonorably utilize the data to pick up preference for themselves or another person, or cause harm to the corporation and section  232(5) of the Corporations Law( which had been repealed and replaced by section 183[1]) relevantly provided that: “An officer or employee of a corporation, or a former officer or employee of a corporation, must not, in relevant circumstances, make improper use of information acquired by virtue of his or her position as such an officer or employee to gain, directly or indirectly, an advantage for himself or herself or for any other person or to cause detriment to the corporation.” A director, according to the common law, is denied the capacity to utilize such data for his or her own reasons. It doesn’t make a difference that the director’s activity causes no mischief to the organization or does not deny it of an opportunity which it may have practiced for its own preference: Regal (Hastings) Ltd v Gulliver [1967].


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