ASIC cancels AFS license of Berndale Capital Securities, bans Stavro D’Amore from financial services industry
ASIC has found that Berndale Capital failed to comply with the client money reporting requirements and failed to lodge annual financial statements, and audit reports.
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) has once again shown its determination to act against Forex firms that fail to meet regulatory requirements. Earlier today, the Australian regulator 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.
ASIC found that Berndale:
- failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that its representative complied with financial services laws;
- failed to have adequate financial and human resources;
- failed to maintain an appropriate internal dispute resolution system;
- failed to provide financial services efficiently, honestly and fairly;
- failed to comply with the client money reporting requirements;
- failed to lodge annual financial statements, and audit reports; and
- is likely to contravene its general obligations as an AFS licensee.
ASIC also found Mr D’Amore:
- was involved in contraventions of financial services laws by Berndale;
- is not adequately trained, or is not competent, to provide financial services; and
- is likely to contravene a financial services law.
To reduce the impact of the cancellation on past and existing clients of the firm, the cancellation will be subject to a specification that the AFS licence continues until December 20, 2018 for the purpose of finalising existing client trading accounts.
Berndale and D’Amore have the right to request review of ASIC’s decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
In a similar action earlier this month, ASIC cancelled the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of the retail OTC derivative issuer AGM Markets. The cancellation 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.