ASIC has cancelled the Australian Financial Services Licence of a Melbourne-based adviser that had previously invoked the first civil penalty for a breach of the FOFA reforms.
Golden Financial Group, formerly known as NSG Services and National Sterling Financial Services, has had its licence revoked following a period of suspension from 18 March.
The company had failed to lodge its annual financial reports and did not have membership of an external dispute resolution system.
ASIC said in response to its enquiries, Golden Financial advised the regulator it had ceased the business and requested its AFSL cancellation.
In 2017, the Federal Court ordered the firm to pay a $1 million penalty for a breach of its best interests duty, introduced under the FOFA reforms. It was the first civil penalty imposed on an AFSL for a breach of the new regime.
The firm’s clients were reported to be commonly sold insurance and advised to roll over superannuation accounts that committed them to costly, unsuitable and unnecessary financial arrangements.
The court found the failures by then named NSG to ensure compliance among its representatives were systemic in nature.
Golden Financial has held the AFSL since 3 April 2008.
The company is looking to expand its services for financial advisers.
The FPA has developed a new SOA video toolkit to guide members.
“All advice should be regulated in a similar way”, a financial services firm has argued in its QAR submission.
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