Companies

Aug 14, 2012

ASIC nails ‘getaway driver’ in ABC Learning debacle

Almost four years after its inglorious financial collapse, ASIC has finally claimed a scalp from the charred wreckage of ABC Learning Centres.

Adam Schwab — Business director and commentator

Adam Schwab

Business director and commentator

Almost four years after its inglorious financial collapse, ASIC has finally claimed a scalp from the charred wreckage of ABC Learning Centres. But despite presiding over the loss of more than $1.6 billion of shareholder and lender funds, no executive or director of ABC Learning has had to face civil or criminal sanction. Instead ASIC has proudly enforced a sanction on a relatively junior auditor.

Last week, ASIC announced that the ABC’s former auditor Simon Green, a Brisbane-based audit partner with Pitcher Partners, had accepted a five-year ban for inadequately performing his duties. ASIC’s hard-hitting chair Greg Medcraft (who was appointed well after the group’s collapse) claimed that “auditors and important gatekeepers who are relied on to provide assurance and market confidence in the quality of financial reports”.

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3 comments

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3 thoughts on “ASIC nails ‘getaway driver’ in ABC Learning debacle

  1. Patrick McMaster

    The ASIC MUST look at holding accountable the full Board of ABC Learning; each board member is equally culpable in the fraud and loss to lenders and investors.

  2. izatso?

    big flamin’ book, Adam, when 111% of corporate Australia hangs off the Public er Purse ….

  3. geomac62

    Wasn,t it a push by Howard to sideline council and not for profit centres and fund ABC type ventures that led to Groves rise ? I seem to remember smaller community type kindergartens getting squeezed out which later required similar centres to keep failed ABC operating . A bit vague on some things but weren,t there some prominent libs and nationals involved early days in this ? Anderson , Kroger or that former national leader before Anderson or maybe it was his son . Anthony I think it was , surname .
    ASIC must be a bit like the EPA , all bark and no bite . No financial penalties and the main culprits free to be on boards or start a new venture , astounding . Its hard not to conclude that something is lacking or deliberately not being done .

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