McMaster: Where was ASIC on Beacon, CBA and AMP?

ASIC’s treatment of Dover is “completely inconsistent” with its treatment of bank-aligned AFSLs and other financial institutions, according to the group’s director.

Dover Financial Advisers boss Terry McMaster has hit out at the corporate regulator, believing that both he and his collapsed business have been unfairly victimised by ASIC.

In an exclusive interview, Mr McMaster told ifa that Dover requested and co-operated fully with an ASIC audit, which he claims is in stark contrast to “what we now know of other AFSL audits”.

“So, why is Dover, which requested its audit, undertook to meet any ASIC concerns, co-operated 100 per cent, did not cause any loss to a client, and remediated immediately and effectively once it knew of ASIC's concerns, being dragged through this process, with its abundant, long and glossy media releases? he asked.

“Why did ASIC force Dover to shut down, but not take similar actions against the bank AFSLs and the AMP AFSLs? Why did ASIC try to give the impression it had nothing to do with Dover shutting down when, very aggressively, and in writing, it did?

“Generally, ASIC’s treatment of Dover is completely inconsistent with its treatment of other AFSLs and other financial institutions who have done much worse things.”

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The Dover boss highlighted ASIC’s inaction against CBA and AMP. Representatives of both institutions have appeared before the royal commission, where significant misconduct was uncovered. For example, both CBA and AMP acknowledged they were charging life insurance premiums to dead people. 

“Also compare ASIC’s treatment of Dover with ASIC’s treatment of institutions such as AMP, for example,” Mr McMaster said, pointing to a letter by ASIC’s Tim Mullaly to AMP outlining the regulator’s concerns about AMP’s failure to co-operate with its audit.

“Compare ASIC and Dover with ASIC and Beacon, where serious, probably criminal, circumstances have been discovered in late 2016 and early 2017 but it appears ASIC did not refer Beacon to the royal commission.”

Mr McMaster believes ASIC gave information about the Dover’s CPP and other matters to the royal commission before it raised its concerns with Dover on 22 March 2018.

“After 22 March 2018, Dover did not dispute ASIC’s concerns, and immediately remediated the CPP within two weeks, or by early April 2018,” he said.

“Compared to CBA where $3.7 billion was raised in breach of the Corporations Act with no remediation required by ASIC and no penalties were required by ASIC, although eventually the CBA recommended a penalty of $1.25 million.”

More to come.

McMaster: Where was ASIC on Beacon, CBA and AMP?
ASIC
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