ASIC Bans USGFX Director John Martin for 10 Years

He did not have a clear understanding of the compliance rules.

John Carlton Martin, Director and a former Manager of the now-collapsed Union Standard International Group Pty Ltd (USGFX), has been banned from providing financial services for ten years by the Australian financial markets regulator. Additionally, he is disqualified from managing any corporation for five years.

Per Tuesday’s announcement, the Australian Securities and Exchange Commission (ASIC) found that Martin lacked the understanding for compliance of the complex and risky derivatives market.

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He failed to take the necessary steps to ensure that the licensed financial services provided by the company were efficient, honest and fair. Additionally, he could not ensure that TradeFred and EuropeFX, two former corporate authorized representatives operating under USGFX’s license, complied with the financial services laws.

“In making the banning order, ASIC also found Mr Martin is not adequately trained or competent and is not a fit and proper person to provide financial services,” the regulator noted.

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A Troubled Broker

The banning came when Australia-based USGFX was going into liquidation after entering into voluntary administration a year ago.

In addition, ASIC cancelled the Australian Financial Services license of the contracts for differences (CFDs) provider in September 2021, and there was much drama in the liquidation process too. The court-appointed liquidator blamed the broker’s shareholders for being unhelpful and not cooperating in the process.

Apart from USGFX, Martin was the Director of TradeFred and Direct FX Trading Pty Ltd.

“In addition to the findings of Mr Martin’s banning, ASIC also found Mr Martin failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that Union Standard and TradeFred complied with the Corporations Act requirement to keep written financial records,” the regulator alleged.

While USGFX is under liquidation in Australia, the group moved its headquarters to London and is focusing on its business in other countries. Recently, the group rebranded to United Strategic International leaving the tainted name behind.

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