AFCA says funds unlikely to be returned to clients of Berndale Capital Securities before 2020

Maria Nikolova

The Receivers and Managers will not be able to return funds to Berndale investors until after ASIC has finalised its investigations and the future of Berndale has been decided.

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), a dispute resolution body, has earlier today provided an update on the Berndale Capital Securities case. The license of Berndale was taken away by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) in November 2018 and its director Stavro D’Amore was banned from providing financial services for a period of six years.

In its update, AFCA says ASIC’s investigations into the matter are ongoing, and there will be a Federal Court hearing to determine the future of Berndale. The Federal Court has not yet set a date for this hearing. Possible outcomes may include Berndale being placed into liquidation.

The update provides a rather gloomy piece of news for those who are impatient to get their money back. AFCA says the Receivers and Managers will not be able to return funds to Berndale investors until after ASIC has finalised its investigations and the future of Berndale has been decided. For this reason, AFCA does not anticipate any funds being returned to investors before 2020.

At this stage, AFCA understands it is unlikely that Berndale investors will have all their funds returned. It is too early to estimate the amount of funds that might be returned to each investor, the body says.

Berndale is a current member of AFCA. While ASIC required Berndale to maintain its AFCA membership until at least May 23, 2019, Berndale will continue to remain a member of AFCA until AFCA’s Board determines otherwise.

Consumers can continue to lodge complaints about Berndale’s conduct and services with AFCA while Berndale remains an AFCA member. AFCA will continue to consider and handle complaints against the financial firm as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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