ASIC has banned the former director of an over-the-counter derivatives issuer from financial services and from managing corporations as a result of his “serious” lack of regard for compliance.
In a statement, the regulator said it had banned John Martin, a director and former responsible manager of liquidated firm Union Standard International Group, from providing financial services for 10 years and from managing corporations for five years.
“ASIC found Mr Martin’s lack of understanding or regard for compliance was so serious it justified the making of significant banning and disqualification orders,” the regulator said.
Union Standard was a retail over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives issuer offering clients opportunities to trade in contracts for difference (CFDs), with a number of corporate authorised representatives – Maxi EFX Global AU Pty Ltd (also known as EuropeFX) and BrightAU Capital Pty Ltd (also known as TradeFred) – operating under its AFSL.
ASIC found that Mr Martin was involved in Union Standard’s failures to provide financial services efficiently, honestly and fairly, and to take reasonable steps to ensure that its representatives complied with financial services laws.
He had also failed to address misconduct by the representatives including the provision of unlicensed personal advice, and making misleading representations to clients.
“ASIC found the financial products issued by Union Standard were high risk financial products, with features that may not be understood or appreciated by retail clients. With complex products, there is a significant need to ensure compliance, especially when corporate authorised representatives are located overseas,” the regulator said.
“In making the banning order, ASIC also found Mr Martin is not adequately trained or competent and is not a fit and proper person to provide financial services.”
Mr Martin was the responsible manager of Union Standard from December 2014 to September 2019 and was a director from February 2019. Since September 2018, Mr Martin had also been the sole director of TradeFred.
Union Standard entered into voluntary administration in July 2020 and liquidators were appointed in September 2020. In March 2020, TradeFred also went into liquidation.
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