AAT upholds ASIC decision to refuse limited AFSL

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has affirmed the corporate regulator’s decision to refuse to grant a limited licence to an applicant.

According to a statement, on 31 January 2019, the AAT found that the sole director and nominated responsible manager of Superannuation Warehouse Australia, Johann Heinrich Preller, failed to demonstrate:

  • an adequate understanding of the general obligations that would apply to a licensee; and
  • failed to disclose matters that the AAT considered were materially relevant; including a failure to disclose past breaches of other laws to ASIC.

ASIC said the the AAT’s decision took into account information referred to ASIC from the Australian Taxation Office about the audits of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF) undertaken by Mr Preller.

This information was provided to ASIC after the hearing closed but before the AAT had made its decision. The AAT agreed with ASIC’s view that this information was relevant to the AAT’s consideration of whether a licence should be granted or refused.


“These decisions reinforce the importance of providing full and frank disclosures to ASIC and the weight placed on an applicant’s past conduct in financial services or under other legislation in determining a licence application,” said ASIC executive director of assessment and intelligence Warren Day.

“Applicants, and anyone else involved in preparing and lodging applications with ASIC, are on notice that a failure to disclose all relevant information runs the risk of the application being refused.

“While some applicants may be relatively new to the licensing regime, we emphasise that granting a licence is a privilege and not a right and that making a false or misleading statement in a licence application may result in a criminal prosecution. Further, if we find out after we have granted a licence, we may cancel it, or seek other remedies.”

The decision follows an earlier AAT ruling affirming ASIC’s decision to refuse Michael David Watson a limited AFS licence.

AAT upholds ASIC decision to refuse limited AFSL
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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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