ASIC explicitly told Dover Financial managing director Terry McMaster to immediately close his now-defunct dealer group, despite publicly claiming the decision was not theirs.
A document ASIC sent to Dover days before the shock closure was announced on 8 June this year, seen by ifa, shows the regulator wanted Dover to close down as soon as possible as part of an enforceable undertaking.
The document specified that Mr McMaster withdraw the authority of Dover’s representatives by 8 June 2018, and terminate their appointments and cancel the AFSL by 6 July 2018, which aligns with the dates provided to Dover advisers in Mr McMaster’s email informing them of the closure.
ASIC also said it would not alter this time frame without evidence that it would impose specific risks on clients of the authorised representatives adding that under section 915H of the Corporations Act, the regulator likely has the power to close the business itself.
A spokesperson for the corporate regulator previously confirmed it intended to cancel Dover’s licence but would not confirm a time frame and told ifa the decision to shutter the business ultimately came from Mr McMaster himself.
A statement issued by ASIC on 29 June 2018 in relation to the closure of Dover explained that the enforceable undertaking had resulted from an investigation into Dover’s client protection policy, which was also questioned at the royal commission when Mr McMaster collapsed in the witness box.
The statement said Dover received notice from ASIC on 18 May 2018 that the regulator had “significant” concerns with the client protection policy and would conduct an administrative hearing into the business’ ongoing ability to run a financial services firm.
“Subsequently, ASIC and Dover engaged in discussions in relation to ASIC’s concerns. Dover informed ASIC it would cease operating its financial services business under a timetable to be negotiated with ASIC,” the statement said.
“Dover also informed ASIC that it would be notifying its authorised representatives on 8 June 2018 that it intended to request ASIC to cancel Dover’s licence and that they could no longer provide financial advice as a representative of Dover from 8 June 2018.”
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