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Boutique dealer group AFSL suspended

ASIC has suspended the AFSL of a boutique east coast financial advice firm for failure to comply with licence obligations.

The corporate regulator has announced that it has suspended the licence of Protect Ensure Pty Ltd, a financial planning firm with offices in Sydney and Brisbane.

The AFSL will be suspended until 19 December 2014 (effective 23 September), during which time the firm is “unable to provide advice to new or existing clients”.

An ASIC investigation found that Protect Ensure failed to “lodge true and fair annual accounts, together with an auditor’s report before 31 October of the relevant year, and failed to report this significant breach to ASIC”.

“ASIC will not tolerate licensees who have funding issues which could lead to serious consequences for clients,” said deputy chair Peter Kell in a statement.

ASIC has written to all representatives of Protect Ensure requiring them to tell their clients the licence has been suspended.

Protect Ensure managing director Lee Robin told ifa sister title InvestorDaily in October 2012 that the firm had 24 authorised reps and was looking to expand its adviser numbers by an additional 10-15 reps at that time.

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