Financial Services Misconduct and the Corporations Act 2001

41 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2015 Last revised: 21 Sep 2015

See all articles by George Gilligan

George Gilligan

University of Melbourne - Centre for Corporate Law

Helen Bird

Swinburne Law School

Date Written: July 31, 2015


This working paper is the second published output of an eighteen-month (December 2014 – June 2016) research project conducted by staff at the Melbourne Law School that examines enforcement and penalties regimes under legislation administered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The paper follows Working Paper 1's scoping of penalties under ASIC administered legislation by discussing enforcement under the Corporations Act through the lens of a study of court-based enforcement by ASIC of financial services misconduct. The paper is in three parts. Part I considers current debates about penalties regimes available to ASIC. Part II discusses the provisions and penalties presently operating under the Corporations Act for financial services misconduct. Part III examines the actual penalties handed down for corporate wrongdoing for financial services misconduct in Australian Courts by way of a small case study of ASIC court based enforcement cases from 2011-2013. Part IV concludes.

Keywords: financial services misconduct, regulatory enforcement, penalties,

JEL Classification: G18, K22, K42

Suggested Citation

Gilligan, George and Bird, Helen Louise, Financial Services Misconduct and the Corporations Act 2001 (July 31, 2015). CIFR Paper No. 073/2015, Available at SSRN: or

George Gilligan (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Centre for Corporate Law ( email )

185 Pelham Street, Carlton, Building 106
Victoria 3010
+61 3 8344 1079 (Phone)


Helen Louise Bird

Swinburne Law School ( email )

Cnr Wakefield and William Streets, Hawthorn Victor
3122 Victoria, Victoria 3122

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