ASIC updates licence conditions on Sydney wealth firm

The corporate regulator has announced it has updated the licence conditions of a Sydney-based wealth management firm following concerns with compliance.

In a statement today, ASIC said an independent review of wealth management and stockbroking firm Morgans Financial Limited resulted in recommendations for: strengthening Morgans' arrangements for monitoring and supervising its representatives; handling confidential market-sensitive information; and managing conflicts of interest in relation to corporate transactions.

Back in November 2015 ASIC imposed licence conditions on Morgans following the identification of concerns relating to the firm's arrangements for monitoring and supervising its authorised representatives after a number of serious breach incidents occurred over recent years, which in Morgans' case, was compounded by its extensive representative and branch network.

ASIC said that, in response to the updated recommendations, Morgans is undertaking work in an implementation plan and has engaged a consultant to carry out a review of this.

Under the updated licence conditions, ASIC will receive regular progress reports throughout the implementation review and the independent consultant will provide a final report in November 2018.

ASIC commissioner Cathie Armour said, "All market participants must ensure they maintain adequate monitoring and supervision arrangements.

“In addition, firms must have robust controls pertaining to the proper handling of confidential information and management of conflicts of interest.

“These measures are fundamental to the community retaining trust in our financial markets."

ASIC acknowledged Morgans' co-operative approach to improving its compliance standards and addressing ASIC's concerns.

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