The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from Breakaway Finance Group to cancel their Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence, following surveillance by ASIC.
ASIC undertook the surveillance as it was concerned that Breakaway did not sufficiently tailor key policies and procedures to its operations, effectively deal with conflicts of interest, or implement or follow some key policies.
Under the EU, the company also agreed to write to relevant clients who they had advised over the last three years to inform them of the EU and their rights to file a complaint.
Mark Roberts, Breakaway sole director was also under ASIC surveillance. The regulator was concerned that Roberts had failed to make reasonable inquiries into clients’ circumstances, recommended insurance cover to clients unable to afford the premiums, and failed to provide adequate product replacement disclosure.
Roberts undertook in the EU not to provide financial services for two years, which will be recorded on ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register.
He also promised not to act as a director, secretary, shareholder, employee, responsible manager or any other officer of an AFS licensee or authorised representative for two years, and to notify ASIC and complete the relevant training and education requirements before re-entering the financial services industry.
ASIC acknowledged the cooperation of both Breakaway and Roberts during the investigation.