Australia’s corporate regulator will come under the spotlight in a parliamentary hearing starting on Wednesday.Representatives from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission will face questions on topics including the handling of an investigation into two David Jones directors accused of inappropriate share trading.They bought David Jones stock days before a better-than-expected sales result caused a spike in the retailer’s share price, but action was not taken against the pair.More than 400 submissions have been received by the Senate economics reference committee as it studies the efficiency and effectiveness of the ASIC.
“At a later stage of the inquiry, the committee will also address issues relating to Commonwealth financial planning and the question of Australia’s corporate whistleblower framework,” Labor senator Mark Bishop said.Founder and CEO of 21st Century Education Group of Companies Jamie McIntyre said he spoke with Senator John Williams who will lead the ASIC Senate Enquiry about the flagrant abuses of the corporate watchdog in the past and their misuse of taxpayers money to target individuals because of highly paid lobbyists from powerful industries who wish to damage competitors and use ASIC as a tool to do so.According to McIntyre, ASIC has failed to protect investors especially with matters such as Storm Financial where investors lost an estimated $4 billion of Australians’ savings.For years, he said, they failed to act against the clear conflict interest of financial planners who are essentially sales people earning large commissions selling investments that paid the most, especially since acquiring a license to be a financial salesperson requires zero investment success or experience.McIntyre said financial planners should be officially addressed as financial sales people so that consumers aren’t misled about what their real job is.“ASIC is too preoccupied with the regulation of the financial services industry instead of supporting financial education even though consumers need financial education to better protect themselves.
“ASIC has an unhealthy bias against financial educators thanks to the highly paid lobbyists from the banking industry who own 90% of the financial planning industry and simply lack any real financial knowledge”.He also said that in the past there has been a culture of attacking tall poppies as can be evidenced with the case against Andrew Forrest amongst others that reflect badly on ASIC.It is believed that in due course McIntyre will release a book he has completed and filed with lawyers regarding evidence of abuse of power within ASIC. He said that he welcomes the Senate Enquiry into ASIC as an investigation of the corporate watchdog is long overdue and the least taxpayers can expect is an honest, transparent and effective regulator which hopefully we will one day have.McIntyre has a personal beef with ASIC from 2001 when he alleged that Stephen Glynn a former ASIC officer lied deliberately to the Supreme Court resulting in over $50million in damages to McIntyre’s companies. He said he was targeted because of ulterior motives.McIntyre said people like Stephen Glynn instead of being punished and held accountable end up receiving promotions in ASIC.
Glynn is currently the head of Dubai Security Exchange, which is why McIntyre said he is gravely concerned about the internal culture of ASIC, especially since deceptive employees in the organisation get rewarded for deliberately deceiving Supreme Court Judges.“If the public did this they would go to jail, but when past ASIC officers act in this manner, they get a promotion and high salary.“Something has been very wrong in the ASIC in the past and is there any evidence to suggest that anything has changed”, questions McIntyre.ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft and senior officers will give evidence from 9am (AEDT) on Wednesday.
Commission representatives are expected to be called before the committee at least two more times.Jamie McIntyre is the founder of 21st Century Australia and ex-candidate for seat of New England, 2013 Federal Elections. He is also the Founder and CEO of 21st Century Media and Education Group of Companies, including 21st Century News.