The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has cancelled the Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence of Brisbane-based education and training business, The Sharemarket College.
In a statement issued today, the Australian watchdog also said it had banned the responsible managers of The Sharemarket College, namely Graeme Allan Rogers and Jill Rogers.
The Sharemarket College failed to comply with a number of its obligations as a financial services licensee, which included making misleading and deceptive statements in relation to a financial product or a financial service, providing personal advice to clients when they were only licensed to provide general advice and failing to maintain the competence to provide financial services authorised under its AFS licence.
As a result, Jill and Graeme Rogers were banned from providing financial services for three and four years respectively.
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Commenting on the penalties, Commissioner Greg Tanzer said: “All AFS licensees need to ensure their culture does not drive poor conduct within their business. ASIC will take action against licensees and individuals who fail to comply with their obligations.”
The Sharemarket College is a Registered Training Organisation that also held an AFS licence, offering training programs on trading in the share market, intraday markets and exchange traded options markets.
Responding to concerns about The Sharemarket College, ASIC trailed the business posing as potential investors. During the surveillance, The Sharemarket College told ASIC staff about its own success when trading on the share market and referred to a real investment portfolio it operated with a capitalisation of $100,000.
It was claimed this portfolio was achieving returns of 60 percent per annum and that results like this could be achieved by enrolling in The Sharemarket College training courses.
An ASIC investigation established there was no investment portfolio and that the claims were false and misleading. The investigation also found that The Sharemarket College had made similar claims about the investment portfolio and the returns achieved to members of the public.
The AFS licence cancellation and the banning of Graeme and Jill Rogers took effect on 30 August 2016.