ASIC Cancels AFS License of Former Stockbroker BBY

The regulator initially suspended the firm’s license in 2015.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced on Monday that it has cancelled the Australian Financial Services (AFS) license of the troubled BBY Limited (BBY), which operated the SmarTrader brokerage platform.

The cancelation of the AFS license that came into effect on June 24 came after a prolonged six-year suspension of the company’s license. The decision was taken just ahead of the 30th of June 2021, until the latest suspension was imposed.

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The regulator detailed that despite the cancellation of the license, the company will be allowed to continue central grievance-oriented services until the end of March next year.

BBY has to ensure that its clients continue to have access to an external dispute resolution scheme and the National Guarantee Fund. Additionally, the company has to ensure that ‘the receivers and liquidators have the legal authority to transfer a client’s ‘holder identification number’ to another market participant with instructions from the client or to convert a licensee sponsored holding to an issuer sponsored holding in accordance with the ASX Settlement Operating Rules’.

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ASIC also elaborated that BBY is required to arrange compensation for retail clients for their losses or damages suffered due to its breaches of the local regulations.

A Troubled Company

Originally, the Aussie regulator suspended BBY’s operating license in May 2015 for a period of three years but then continued to renew the suspension.

BBY Ltd is the main operating entity of the BBY group. The company was headquartered in Sydney with offices in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and America. The BBY group consisted of 10 entities, including BBY Advisory Services Pty Ltd and SmarTrader Limited, which also had their licenses canceled by the Aussie regulator.

ASIC, which is deemed as one of the reputed financial regulators, is actively taking action against violators. A court recently held the regulator’s actions against Forex CT and slapped the firm with an AUD20 million fine. Last year, ASIC canceled the AFS license of Jels Financial Group, Selectinvest and USGFX.

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