From time to time our clients come across matters of concerning behaviour in dealing with directors of companies. If this is the case you may lodge a complaint for misconduct to ASIC if you are of the view that a company or individual has failed to comply with the laws that ASIC administers. The following legislation is administered by ASIC:
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001(ASIC Act);
- Business Names Registration Act 2011;
- Corporations Act 2001(Corporations Act);
- Insurance Contracts Act 1984; and
- National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009(National Credit Act).
Areas that fall within ASIC’s responsibility that can be reported for misconduct include the following:
- Auditor practice and practitioners;
- Business names;
- Employee entitlements;
- Financial advice;
- Goods and services (other than financial services);
- Running of Companies;
- Shares and Markets; and
How to Lodge a Complaint
To lodge a complaint with ASIC, you may complete an online interactive form via https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/contact-us/how-to-complain/report-misconduct-to-asic/.
Assessing a Complaint
ASIC generally assesses the complaint of misconduct within 28 business days of its receipt, and will consider the following:
- The extent of harm or loss from the misconduct of the company or individual;
- The benefits of pursuing the misconduct;
- The type and seriousness of the misconduct and the available evidence; and
- Any alternative courses of action.
Taking Further Action
After assessing the complaint of misconduct, ASIC may choose to take action if it considers it to be in the wider public interest. In taking further action, ASIC may:
- refer the complaint to specialist investigation;
- refer the complaint to a surveillance team; or
- take administrative, licensing, criminal or civil action to remedy any breach.
In the event that ASIC chooses not to take any further action, the complainant will be advised.
Dissatisfaction with the Decision
If you are dissatisfied with ASIC’s decision, you have the opportunity to request that the decision be reviewed. In this case, an ASIC officer independent of the original decision will conduct the review, and may review any additional documentation you choose to rely on in support of your complaint.
If you remain dissatisfied with ASIC’s review of the decision, you may proceed with making a complaint to the Commonwealth Ombudsman
Should you have any further enquires please contact our offices.
Article written by Belinda Melton of our Brisbane office.