The Federal Court of Australia (FCA) has handed down its decision in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Taxsmart Group Pty Ltd  FCA 487 (16 May 2014), in which accounting company Taxsmart has admitted to breaching Schedule 2 (The Australian Consumer Law) to the Competition and Consumer Act (2010) 1974 No. 51 (Cth).
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that as part of its ongoing proceedings against certain Harvey Norman franchisees, the Federal Court of Australia has ordered a further four franchisees to pay civil pecuniary penalties for making false or misleading representations to consumers regarding their consumer guarantee rights.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced that it has imposed licence conditions on two Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) financial planning businesses to "undertake significant further work in relation to the compensation process for customers and ... [to] put in place independent monitoring of that work".
Australian Securities Exchange-listed international contracting company Leighton Holdings has announced that it has entered into a conditional agreement to pay A$65.55 million as part of a class action settlement.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced that it has banned Jeremy Nambiar from providing financial services for eight years. ASIC found that Mr Nambiar, as a Westpac Bank (Westpac) employee, "entered more than 100 fictitious trading entries ... that created the false appearance of profit", resulting in "approximately [A]$17.6 million [being] written off the income statement of Westpac's financial statements".
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have jointly announced that an AFP-ASIC joint operation has resulted in the restraining of approximately A$7 million in suspected profit from insider trading activity, and the arrest of an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) employee and a National Australia Bank Group (NAB) employee.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has contacted grocery suppliers named in its recently announced proceedings against Coles Supermarkets Australia and Grocery Holdings (jointly, Coles), assuring them that it will make clear to Coles that they had not co-operated with its investigation.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced that Zone Telecom has paid a A$20,400 infringement notice for making unsolicited telemarketing calls prohibited under the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 No. 88 (Cth) (the Act).
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has announced that the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 No. 69 (NZ) (the Act) is beginning to generate a positive cultural shift in the New Zealand financial services sector.
Non-bank lender Pepper Australia Pty Ltd (Pepper), supported by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and the National Australia Bank (NAB), has issued $500 million worth of "non-conforming" home loans, namely residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) issued to customers with poor credit records or demanding repayment ratios. Reportedly, the issue is Australia's biggest since the global financial crisis and offered investors different tranches of debt, with those with a lower credit rating attracting a higher return for the investor.
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