The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has suspended the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Queensland-based financial services provider Investors Exchange Limited (IEL) for six weeks for failing to comply with financial services laws and maintaining to provide the financial services covered by its AFS licence.
The corporate regulator, which issued the ban for IEL effective 15 January, said that the firm had:
- Failed to lodge its annual financial statements and auditor reports by the requisite date for the financial years ending 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019;
- Failed to lodge the compliance plan auditor’s reports for Investors Exchange Investment Fund by the requisite date in 2014 and 2016, and for both Schemes by the requisite date in 2017, 2018 and 2019; and
- Failed to comply with the compliance plan for Dean Capital Property Trust No. 1 in 2012; and
- Issued defective product disclosure documents in 2018 and 2019
During the suspension, IEL would be unable to issue new interests in the schemes and it would be also specifically prohibited from granting any further security over the existing assets of the schemes and offering redemption of interests in the schemes unless this would be offered equally to all scheme members.
According to the ASIC, the suspension would allow IEL time to review its competence and take steps to ensure compliance with its obligations as an AFS licensee.
The ASIC also used its power under s915H of the Corporations Act to allow IEL to provide financial services that are reasonably necessary for the day-to-day operation of the schemes while the suspension is in place.
IEL has the right to seek a review of ASIC's decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).