US-based online brokerage firm Interactive Brokers has refunded $1.5 million in fees and commission payments to its Australian retail margin lending customers, finalising an enforceable undertaking (EU) with ASIC.
The refunds were part of an EU with ASIC that found that Interactive Brokers did not hold an Australian financial services license to authorise the provision of margin loans between July 2010 and August 2013.
Other terms of the EU have also been met, ASIC reported, including a $150,000 payment to the Financial Rights Legal Centre and a confirmation by independent consultant Pricewaterhouse Coopers that the customer refunds were calculated and paid in accordance with the terms agreed to in the EU.
ASIC also reported that at this time it has no intention of granting Interactive Brokers’ Australian subsidiary an appropriately authorised license.
The regulator has ordered the online brokerage firm to cease providing over-the-counter foreign exchange services in Australia, and requested further information in order for ASIC to decide on an “acceptable orderly exit mechanism” from that part of its business in Australia.
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