AGM Markets, Direct FX, Berndale Capital top list of Australian firms failing to pay complaint-related charges

Maria Nikolova

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority has today named 29 financial firms that have failed to pay complaint-related charges.

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has today published a list of 29 financial firms that have failed to pay complaint-related charges, thus violating AFCA membership requirements.

AFCA members are required by law to pay a membership levy, along with fees for every complaint received about them. The 29 members owe AFCA a total of $1.715 million in outstanding charges.

At the top of the list are three FX firms – AGM Markets Pty Ltd, Direct FX Trading Pty Ltd, and Berndale Capital Securities Pty Ltd. The debt of AGM Markets is $483,200, the debt of Direct FX is $397,570, and the debt of Berndale Capital is $364,230.

Data source: AFCA.

Let’s recall that the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) cancelled the Australian Financial Services Licence (422662) of brokerage AGM Markets Pty Ltd in November 2018. The cancellation of AGM’s license followed an ASIC investigation which demonstrated that AGM’s financial services operations involved core elements of unconscionability and unmanaged conflicts of interest and followed a business model that disregarded key conduct requirements.

In October 2018, ASIC said it had cancelled the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Direct FX Trading Pty Ltd (AFS licence 305539) due to what the regulator dubbed as “serious and continued compliance failures”.

In November 2018, ASIC announced the cancellation of the Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence of Melbourne-based retail OTC derivative issuer Berndale Capital Securities Pty Ltd. ASIC has also banned Berndale’s ex-director Stavro D’Amore, of Middle Park, Victoria, from providing financial services for a period of six years. D’Amore was the sole responsible manager and key person on the AFS licence.

In today’s announcement, AFCA noted that it has made numerous attempts to contact the financial firms to recover the amounts owing.

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