The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has named 29 financial firms which have failed to pay complaint-related charges this Monday. Among the named firms include three operating within the foreign exchange (forex) space.
By not paying the charges, the 29 named companies are breaching AFCA membership requirements, the authority highlighted in its statement published today. In total, the 29 members owe the agency a total of AU$1.715 million ($1.154 million) in outstanding charges.
“AFCA members are required by law to pay a membership levy, along with fees for every complaint received about them,” the authority stated.
Topping the list with the highest amount owed to the authority are three forex firms which were formally regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) – AGM Markets Pty Ltd, Direct FX Trading Pty Ltd, and Berndale Capital Securities Pty Ltd. Collectively, the three companies owe AU$1.245million.
Breaking this down, according to AFCA, AGM Markets owes AU$483,200, Direct FX Trading is in debt of AU$397,570, and Berndale Capital Securities has AU$364,230 outstanding.
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ASIC canceled FX firms’ AFS licenses
As Finance Magnates reported, the ASIC canceled the Australian Financial Services (AFS) license of AGM Markets, a global online forex broker, in November of last year.
According to the regulator, the license was canceled due to “unconscionable conduct and unmanaged conflicts of interest.” Specifically, the watchdog listed eight reasons why the license was revoked.
In October of last year, the Australian regulator also canceled the AFS license of Direct FX Trading. ASIC noted in its statement at the time that due to continued compliance failures from Direct FX the regulator canceled the firm’s license on October 8, 2018.
Following the cancellation of the license, the Supreme Court of New South Wales, a state in Australia, placed Direct FX into external administration and appointed a liquidator on October 11, 2018.
Berndale also had its license revoked last year in November, but ASIC has also banned Stavro D’Amore from providing financial services for six years. D’Amore is a former director of Berndale and was the solely responsible manager and the key person on the AFS license.
“AFCA has made numerous attempts to contact the financial firms to recover the amounts owing. AFCA is required as part of its public reporting requirements to publish the names of non-compliant members,” the statement said.