ASIC has confirmed that it cancelled Sydney Business Accounting’s licence on 14 February and cancelled A G Calleia & Co’s licence on 15 February, marking the first time the regulator has cancelled licences for non-compliance with Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) membership requirements.
All AFS licensees, Australian credit licensees, superannuation trustees and other financial firms that provide services to retail clients were required to become members of AFCA by 21 September 2018.
AFCA, the new one-stop financial services dispute resolution scheme, commenced on 1 November 2018, replacing the three existing schemes: the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT).
Sydney Business Accounting and A G Calleia & Co had also failed to lodge their annual financial statements with ASIC, with Sydney Business Accounting subsequently taking steps to comply with financial reporting obligations when ASIC raised concerns.
“These cancellations are significant because this is the first time ASIC has cancelled licences for non-compliance with AFCA membership requirements,” said ASIC commissioner Danielle Press.
“AFCA is crucial to the protection of Australia’s financial consumers. Licensees need to be aware that failure to meet AFCA membership requirements is a serious breach of the law and ASIC will take action where licensees fail to meet this important obligation.”