The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced a further suspension of the Australian financial services (AFS) licence for Sydney-based Halifax Investment Services until 8 January, 2021.
The corporate watchdog decided to suspend the firm’s licence initially on 8 January, 2019, a move which followed the appointment of Morgan Kelly, Stewart McCallum and Phil Quinlan, of Ferrier Hodgson as joint voluntary administrators for Halifax in November, 2018.
In March, 2019, it was resolved to place Halifax into liquidation and the administrators were appointed as liquidators.
According to ASIC, the terms of the suspension allow the Halifax AFS licence to continue in effect for the following purposes only:
- To ensure that clients of Halifax continue to have access to an external dispute resolution scheme;
- To ensure that Halifax continues to be required to have arrangements for compensating retail clients, including the holding of professional indemnity insurance cover; and
- To allow for the termination of existing arrangements with clients of Halifax.
Under the Corporations Act, ASIC has the power to suspend or cancel an AFS licence, without holding a hearing, where the AFS licence is held by a body corporate which is placed under external administration or that is being wound up.