ASIC Cancels AFS License of Olive Financial Markets

Olive has appealed the decision with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced this Tuesday that it has canceled the Australian financial services (AFS) license of Olive Financial Markets Pty Ltd.

According to a statement from the Australian regulator, ASIC has canceled the license following concerns that Olive was not complying with its obligations as an AFS licensee and was, therefore, likely to contravene its obligations in the future.

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Olive Financial Markets is an online trading provider of securities and derivatives, including equities, options, contracts for difference, futures and margin FX. The firm also offers managed discretionary accounts and financial planning services, among others.

Olive has appealed the cancellation

ASIC originally canceled Olive’s AFS license on the 16th of March 2020, and the company quickly applied to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) on the 17th of March, in which it asked for a review and stay of ASIC’s decision to cancel the license.

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Following on from this, the AAT granted a stay of ASIC’s decision on the 23rd of April 2020 and is currently reviewing the Australian regulator’s decision. Until a verdict has been reached, Olive Financial Markets can’t accept any new clients, and the company must alert its current clients of ASIC’s decision to cancel its AFS license.

Although Olive can’t onboard new clients, under the AAT’s stay, the firm is still able to provide financial services to its existing customers until the review is determined.

According to the statement published today, in ASIC’s original decision, the regulator canceled the AFS license after it found that Olive:

  • failed to ensure that it provided financial services efficiently, honestly and fairly;
  • engaged in unconscionable conduct;
  • engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and made false or misleading statements;
  • contravened the hawking prohibitions by making unsolicited calls to potential clients;
  • failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that its representatives complied with their obligations to act in the best interests of clients, and their obligations not to make false or misleading statements or engage in misleading or deceptive conduct;
  • did not comply with obligations to ensure that its representatives were adequately trained and competent; and
  • did not have a compliant dispute resolution system.

ASIC bans former Olive Financial Markets Director

In a separate decision by the watchdog, the authority has also decided to ban Scott John Morrison, the former director of Olive, from providing financial services for seven years, effective from the 3rd of April, 2020.

From between the 20th of February 2013 and the 13th of November 2019, Morrison of Ryde, NSW, was the sole director of Olive. The agency has banned him from providing financial services as ASIC found that he failed to act in the best interests of Olive’s clients; is not competent to provide financial product advice; is likely to contravene a financial services law, and was involved in certain contraventions by Olive where it engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and made false or misleading statements.

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