Budget 2019 – provides a financial boost to regulators to improve governance

Posted by | April 04, 2019 | Cases and Legislation, Staff News | No Comments

Australia has been in shock at the poor standards of corporate governance and culture, particularly in the financial services sector.  The Federal Government has announced at its 2019 Budget (2 April) that approximately $600 million will be invested in the dual regulators – Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA). These funds have been promised out of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. ASIC will receive a $400 million boost and APRA $150 million.  Additionally, the jurisdiction of the Federal Court, will be amended to include corporate crime and this will involve investing a further $35 million in the Court.  The clear intention is that there will be more prosecution in the white collar crime area and with the amendments to the criminal and civil penalties after 12th March – the consequences for individuals and corporations will be huge. A number of academic and professional bodies have been advocating these resource increases, including the Governance Institute of Australia. Note that Professor Adams was the National President of GIA in 2001 and is still the chair of its National Education Committee. The ASX Corporate Governance has also released the fourth edition in 2019, which alongside the Banking Royal Commission has a greater focus on corporate social responsibility, corporate culture and business ethics.

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