The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has concluded monitoring Lionsgate Financial Group after additional conditions were placed on its Australian financial services licence (AFSL) in 2013.
The corporate regulator had placed the additional conditions following surveillance of its advice business after finding the firm had not properly assessed its advisers' competence to provide financial services or take reasonable steps to ensure advisers complied with the laws.
Under the conditions, the firm had to appoint an independent expert to review all aspects of Lionsgate's arrangements for compliance with its general licensee obligations. The expert also audited advice provided by Lionsgate's representatives for a set period of time.
ASIC monitored the additional conditions via reports provided by the expert, who made several recommendations to improve Lionsgate's arrangements for compliance.
Following the implementation of the recommendations, a second independent expert was appointed to assess whether all the reforms were enforced in the business and were sustainable to ensure Lionsgate would be compliant with its obligations.
The second expert also reported Lionsgate had demonstrated a commitment to implement the required arrangements for compliance and showed these arrangements could be developed internally.
As a result ASIC has ceased its monitoring of the dealer group.
ASIC was also previously concerned Lionsgate did not have sufficient resources to carry out supervisory arrangements or adhere to its record keeping obligations.
ASIC acknowledged Lionsgate's cooperation to tackle ASIC's concerns and respond to experts' recommendations.