ASIC has recently released its report regarding the regulation of registered liquidators for the 2014 calendar year.
The report identifies that throughout 2014, ASIC continued to focus on three key areas: competence, independence, and the attainment of improper gains. Out of the 384 inquiries and reports of alleged liquidator misconduct submitted to ASIC in 2014, 15 per cent involved deliberate and serious breaches of the law ('conduct related'), 21 per cent involved inadvertent and serious breaches of the law ('procedural based'), and 64 per cent involved conduct that warranted an education-based order ('educational'). ASIC's inquiries resulted in 69 matters (20 per cent) being referred internally for further review, 207 matters (59 per cent) where there was insufficient evidence of an offence and/or ASIC assisted to resolve the inquiry, and 77 matters (22 per cent) where ASIC decided to take no further action.
Overall, there has been a downward trend in the number of reports of misconduct that have been submitted to ASIC. In the most serious cases of misconduct (33 altogether), ASIC brought enforcement actions against 11 different parties. In ASIC's surveillance capacity, it completed 95 reviews of separate liquidators' practices and transactions. Most of the reviews related to parties that were located in NSW and Victoria, and touched on the issues of independence, remuneration, and inadequacy of reports and investigations.