Australia

ASIC promises to be tougher on misconduct

ASIC chairman James Shipton says the regulator will take more enforcement action over misconduct. (AAP)

The banking royal commission will hear from more bank CEOs next week at its final public hearing, which is focusing on policy issues.

The corporate regulator has promised to be tougher in punishing financial misconduct.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission chairman James Shipton says it will take more enforcement action over misconduct, including through the courts, and be quicker and more robust.

Over two days at the banking royal commission, Mr Shipton denied being too friendly with the big banks and financial institutions or failing to investigate them for misconduct.

But he accepted the regulator had made mistakes and needed to up the ante, after being slammed by the royal commission for letting much of the widespread misconduct in the financial sector go unpunished and rarely going to court.

ASIC now plans to take criminal and civil action more often, rather than negotiating resolutions with the big banks and others.

It only adopted a new approach that immediately considers litigation two or three weeks ago.

After spending five days in Sydney, the royal commission returns to Melbourne on Monday for the second week of its final hearing.

The heads of National Australia Bank, AMP, ANZ and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority will be questioned about policy issues, along with the chair of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.

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