ASIC takes civil action against Dover, McMaster

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said it has commenced civil penalty action in the Federal Court of Australia against Dover Financial Advisers Pty Ltd and its sole director, Terry McMaster.

The regulator has alleged that Dover misled and deceived clients from September 2015, when it started using its “Client Protection Policy”, to March 2018 when Dover withdrew the policy in response to concerns raised by ASIC.

ASIC alleged the policy: contained false and misleading representations as to the rights and protections available to clients; created a significant imbalance in Dover’s and its authorised representatives’ rights and obligations compared to those of clients; and sought to protect the interests of Dover and its authorised representatives by avoiding liability to clients for poor financial advice.

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ASIC alleged that McMaster was “knowingly concerned in that conduct”.

He was named as the key person on Dover’s Australian Financial Services licence, was its sole director and the only responsible manager during the relevant period, the regulator said.

ASIC said it is seeking declarations that Dover and Mr McMaster contravened the financial services law, as well as pecuniary penalties against both for those contraventions.

The civil proceeding continues ASIC’s enforcement action in relation to Dover’s protection policy, which to date has resulted in the cancellation of Dover’s AFS licence and McMaster’s permanent exit from the financial services industry.

The policy purported to be “designed to ensure that every Dover client get the best possible advice and the maximum protection available under the law”. However, ASIC argued that it was designed to burden clients with the potential liability for losses resulting from advice that was negligent, inappropriate or not in a client’s best interests.

This is inconsistent with or voided by the financial services law in the Corporations Act, ASIC said.




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Comments

Comments

So the theoretical problem that possibly may have come about from 1, 'one', uno, a single document that possibly may have been an issue for a small amount of clients was worth destroying a wide range of businesses including the AFSL, countless livlihoods and families, and grossly affecting EVERY single effing client on their books during a June where significant super issues were being realised?

Wake the F*ck up Australia, this guard dog has gone rabid and doesn't just need reining in, but the jobs of the top mob in ASIC need the bullet with people with decent morals and ethics to step in.

What don't you get about this situation Anonnnn...?

ASIC is alleging that one of Dover's key contractual and licencing documents was either worthless or breached the Corporations Act, which in turn would have invalidated Dover's licence, and by extension, placed every adviser who relied upon Dover's licence in breach of the Corporations Act.

It doesn't matter whether the document in question affected one or 100,000 clients, its alleged deficiencies were, in ASIC's view, enough to render the financial services licence invalid.

Given ASIC's track record, as presented to the Royal commission, I think it's a fair assumption that McMaster was given an extended opportunity to fix the invalid document, but instead (after examination before the Royal Commission) choose to surrender Dover's financial services licence. Which, for me, speaks volumes about the company's attitude to its clients.

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