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ASIC punishes former PwC partner Peter Collins

The man at the centre of the Pricewaterhouse Coopers tax leak scandal has copped a massive blow to his reputation with the country’s financial watchdog blocking him from the world of finance until the 2030s.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission announced on Friday it had formally banned former PwC partner Peter Collins from providing financial services or controlling an entity that carries on a financial services business for eight years.

“For the duration of his ban, Mr Collins cannot provide financial services, control an entity that carries on a financial services business or perform any function involved in the carrying on of a financial services business,” ASIC stated.

Mr Collins’ exile is also recorded on ASIC’s banned and disqualified register, which lists everybody who has been flagged for business impropriety in a searchable online portal.

PwC was thrown into disarray in January after revelations Mr Collins, the consultancy firm’s former taxation partner, leaked sensitive and confidential government information to fellow partners and clients to help them avoid tax.

In its announcement, ASIC said it had found Mr Collins disclosed confidential information he obtained in his roles as a tax adviser to the Commonwealth Treasury and the Australian Board of Taxation.

“Accordingly, ASIC found that Mr Collins is not a fit and proper person to provide financial services and that it was in the public interest to prevent him from working in the financial services industry,” the commission said.

The company stood down nine partners in May as it navigated the fallout from the scandal.

Mr Collins, a Victorian man, was an authorised representative of PwC from March 1 2004 to July 14, 2006, and again from December 9, 2013, to October 6, 2022.

Mr Collins has the right to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC‘s decision.