- Prosecutors are being given extra resources so they can look at criminal charges from bank misconduct revealed in the royal commission.
- $51.1 million in extra funding goes to the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Federal Court to enable prosecutions of criminal misconduct and to ensure civil claims are dealt with quickly.
- Treasurer Josh Frydenberg expects a more aggressive stance from regulators.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has been given extra resources to pursue criminal misconduct by banks and other financial institutions.
Among them are cases highlighted by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg today announced $51.1 million in funding to the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Federal Court to enable prosecutions of criminal misconduct by banks and to ensure civil claims are dealt with quickly.
The money will allow the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider more prosecutions put forward by corporate regulator ASIC and to hire more prosecutors to deal with the increased caseload.
The Federal Court will also be able to appoint two new judges to support civil cases.
Fydenberg says Royal Commissioner Kenneth Hayne has made it clear that ASIC and other regulators have preferred negotiation over litigation when misconduct was uncovered.
“I think from here on you’ll see a more aggressive stance from our regulators and that’s to be welcomed and we’ve also seen cases of financial misconduct highlighted by Commissioner Hayne,” he told ABC radio.
“And while we’re punishing people for their misconduct, we’re also giving ordinary Australians the opportunity to take on their financial institutions and have some of their issues resolved by providing a free service through a new financial complaints authority.”
The government has also asked the Attorney-General’s Department to conduct a review of whether the Federal Court’s criminal jurisdiction should be expanded to include corporate crime.
Any criminal prosecutions for misconduct by banks and other financial institutions are currently heard in state courts.
The next and final round of banking royal commission hearings starting on Monday will see bank chairs and CEOs being grilled.
NAB Chair Ken Henry and Commonwealth Chair Catherine Livingstone are confirmed as witnesses.
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