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ASIC cracks down on liquidator competency

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ASIC cracks down on liquidator competency

ASIC has suspended the registration of a NSW-based liquidator and accepted an enforceable undertaking from a WA-based liquidator, saying it is committed to improving liquidator competency in the industry.

News Michael Masterman 29 April 2014
— 1 minute read

The regulator will suspend Alan Topp for six months from May 1 following a successful application to the sector’s disciplinary body, the Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board (CALDB).

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ASIC alleged Mr Topp failed to lodge more than 300 documents with ASIC over a period of almost four years. The documents, relating to 61 different companies, included the presentation of accounts and statements that help show the progress of an external administration.

John Price, ASIC commissioner, said "The CALDB's decision reinforces the fact that registered liquidators must competently meet both their statutory duties and professional standards. This includes ensuring they have adequate practice systems and resources in place to manage their basic reporting obligations."

ASIC has also accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from Perth liquidator Simon Coad following concerns raised that he had failed to adequately and properly carry out his duties as a registered liquidator.

Under the EU, Mr Coad must improve his systems and procedures for insolvency services and have his practice reviewed twice over a period of approximately six months by an independent quality reviewer. ASIC will monitor Mr Coad’s conduct via reports prepared by the quality reviewer.

Concerns about Mr Coad’s performance as a registered liquidator were identified after ASIC reviewed several of his external administrations.

ASIC formed the view that Mr Coad, among other things:
• did not have appropriate operational procedures in place to properly conduct external administrations;
• incorrectly continued with a deed of company arrangement that had been terminated;
• had not provided creditors with remuneration reports or compliant remuneration reports for prospective remuneration;
• had not provided compliant Declarations of Independence, Relevant Relationships and Indemnities to creditors;
• either had not undertaken proper investigations or had not adequately documented his investigations;
• had not held annual meetings with creditors;
• had not lodged statutory documents with ASIC; and
• had not properly maintained various files.

"This is another case demonstrating ASIC’s commitment to improving liquidator competency but also shows our willingness to work constructively with practitioners to resolve issues and ensure compliance with their obligations," Mr Price said. 

Mr Coad declined to comment on his dealings with ASIC, while Mr Topp did not reply to voice and text messages left by AccountantsDaily.

ASIC cracks down on liquidator competency
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