ASIC refusal of licence upheld by tribunal

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has affirmed ASIC’s decision to refuse an Australian Financial Services Licence to an applicant.

On 21 December 2018, the AAT found Michael David Watson did not provide all the relevant information that ASIC requires to appropriately assess and grant a licence.

ASIC senior executive Warren Day said it welcomes the AAT's decision, which supports the decision of its own delegate.

“ASIC is not simply a rubber stamp. We need applicants to provide all relevant supporting information, rather than just insisting what they have chosen to provide is adequate,” Mr Day said.


“The applicant must be able to demonstrate that educational courses they seek to rely on, cover the appropriate technical content needed to operate the licence.”

ASIC said the decision is a reminder to industry that applicants need to provide ASIC with all relevant information that ASIC requests to demonstrate that they are able to meet all AFS licence requirements if a licence is to be granted.

Further, it said the AAT decision also provides a timely reminder that ASIC places significant weight on an applicant’s past conduct (not just under the Corporations Act) in determining whether the applicant is likely to comply with AFS licence obligations.

Representations made in an application that are false or misleading provide grounds for ASIC to refuse a licence application, ASIC said.

Mr Watson has 28 days in which to appeal the AAT’s decision.

On 30 June 2016, Mr Watson applied for a limited AFS licence to provide financial product advice in relation to self-managed superannuation funds, among other financial products.

After assessing the application and providing Mr Watson with a right to make submissions and be heard, on 20 October 2017, an ASIC delegate determined that Mr Watson’s application be refused.

Mr Watson appealed ASIC’s decision to the AAT on 20 November 2017.

ASIC refusal of licence upheld by tribunal
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Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is a deputy editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.

You can contact him on [email protected].

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