Complaints against Berndale Capital Securities must be filed with AFCA by end-Oct 2020

Maria Nikolova

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority has set a deadline for filing complaints against the broker whose license was taken away in November 2018.

regulation

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has earlier today provided an update on the matter concerning Berndale Capital Securities Pty Ltd. 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 an update issued today, the dispute resolution body explains that customers have to lodge their complaints against Berndale with AFCA prior to October 30, 2020.

Berndale is a current member of AFCA and it will continue to remain a member of AFCA until October 30, 2020. That is why, if customers have not lodged their complaint against Berndale, they will need to do so by the end of October 2020. AFCA will not deal with complaints it receives against Berndale after that date.

In December 2018, ASIC obtained freezing orders from the Federal Court against Berndale, its associated entities, and Mr Stavro D’Amore. This means Berndale’s bank accounts are now frozen and it is unable to sell or otherwise deal with its property without ASIC’s consent.

In April 2019, the Federal Court appointed Rachel Burdett-Baker and Bruno Secatore of Cor Cordis as Receivers and Managers of Berndale. In October 2019, the Federal Court appointed Rachel Burdett-Baker and Bruno Secatore of Cor Cordis as Liquidators of Berndale.

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.

Customers of Berndale may contact the Liquidators directly if they have any questions about their role. If you have correspondence or information that may assist the Liquidators, you should provide this to them as soon as possible. The relevant contact is:

Ms Samantha Wulff

Cor Cordis

PO Box 232

Collins Street West

Melbourne, VIC

+61 3 8320 5615

[email protected]

When ASIC cancelled the license of Berndale it noted that it found that the firm:

  • 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.

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