AUS Government Enforcement

On 23 October, AUS Government proposed rules on penalties for misconduct.

  • ASIC can pursue range of regulatory, enforcement sanctions, remedies for misconduct.
  • Concerns emerged in a number of forums that the penalties in the legislation may not
    be effective and do not reflect community perceptions as to seriousness of misconduct.
  • Effect of key positions put in the paper would be to expand the range of civil penalties.
  • Increase maximum civil penalty amounts in Corporations Act 2001 and the Credit Act.

Penalty amounts

  • Changed for individuals, 2,500 penalty units ($525,000); for corporations, greater of
    12,500 penalty units ($2.625m), or three times benefit gained or 10% annual turnover.
  • Means increases from $200,000 (individuals), $1m (corporations) in Corporations Act.
  • 2,000 penalty units ($420,000) for individuals, 10,000 units ($2.1m) under Credit Act.
  • Penalties in ASIC Act 2001 increased to 2,500 penalty units ($525,000) for individuals,
    corporations; greater of 50,000 penalty units ($10.5m), 3 times benefit, 10% turnover.

Additional penalties

  • ASIC able to seek disgorgement remedies in civil penalty proceedings under the Acts.
  • Maximum terms of imprisonment would also be increased for a range of the offenses.
  • Most serious of Corporations Act offenses will increase to highest penalties available.
  • 10 years imprisonment, 4,500 penalty units ($945,000) or 3 times benefits (person).
  • 45,000 penalty units ($9.45 million), 3 times benefit, 10% annual turnover (company).
  • Maximum fine amounts for other criminal offenses also increased, to be standardized.
  • For strict liability offenses, lowest level fines to increase and ASIC to be able to deal
    with offenses through existing penalty notice regime as an alternative to prosecution.
  • ASIC able to deal with wider range of offenses through infringement notice regimes.


  • Closing date for submissions will be 17 November 2017.