The corporate regulator has revealed it has undertaken 41 separate investigations out of revelations from the banking royal commission as it also detailed how it plans to implement a dozen recommendations made in the final report.
Outlining its response to the royal commission's final report, which was delivered by Justice Kenneth Hayne earlier this month, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission said it was already taking action in response to a string of case studies, saying it expects a number of individuals to face criminal charges.
ASIC said the royal commission's recommendations reinforce and will inform the implementation of steps ASIC has been taking as part of a strategic program of change that commenced in 2018 to strengthen its governance and culture and to realign its enforcement and regulatory priorities.
Many of the recommendations made by the royal commission involve reforms ASIC advocated for in its earlier submissions to the royal commission and, in some cases, in earlier reviews and inquiries"
"There are 12 recommendations that are directed at ASIC, or where the government's response requires action now by ASIC, without the need for legislative change. ASIC is committed to fully implementing each of these," ASIC said in a statement.
"Many of the recommendations made by the royal commission involve reforms ASIC advocated for in its earlier submissions to the royal commission and, in some cases, in earlier reviews and inquiries."
Another 16 prospective cases are being examined by ASIC to determine possible prosecutions.
"Aside from the royal commission case studies, ASIC's enforcement teams are undertaking a large volume of work on a range of misconduct relating to major financial institutions and their representatives," it said.
"ASIC expects these investigations to result in a number of referrals to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions for assessment for criminal prosecution."
ASIC, along with fellow regulator the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, came under fire from Justice Hayne for failing to take tougher action against companies and individuals.
Justice Hayne urged ASIC to take a "why not litigate" approach to future action. As the fallout from the report continues, the watchdog has decided to expand. The new Office of Enforcement will be created by the end of 2019.
ASIC will also have an extra 60 grounds on which it can fine institutions as result of the recommendations of the royal commission.
The watchdog believes that will help deter wrongdoing, alongside the harsher penalties for corporate criminals that cleared federal parliament this week.
Last year the government announced A$70m in extra funding for ASIC to deal with issues in the financial services area. The regulator said it would use the money, tougher penalties and planned extra laws out of the royal commission to meet community expectations around corporate regulation.