ASIC takes action against NSW liquidators

Two Sydney-based accountants will be prevented from acting as registered liquidators for the next five years following an ASIC review.

ASIC has accepted enforceable undertakings (EUs) from Sydney-based registered liquidators Peter George Burton and Brian Hugh Allen, after a review of several external administrations found the pair failed to adequately and properly discharge their duties as registered liquidators.

According to a statement from ASIC, Mr Burton and Mr Allen operated an accounting practice under the name Burton Glenn Allen, Chartered Accountants. At the time of the ASIC review, Mr Allen had already resigned as a partner of the firm.

The regulator said it reviewed several of the men's external administrations and found they failed to adequately discharge their duties, in that they did not:

• conduct, or alternatively properly document, pre-appointment independence reviews;
• disclose the existence of indemnities;
• disclose all pre-appointment communications and meetings with relevant persons or entities;
• take steps to protect and secure assets in a timely manner;
• adequately investigate the company's affairs or, failed to adequately document those investigations;
• provide creditors with adequate remuneration reports and drew remuneration where they were not entitled to do so;
• identify and report misconduct to ASIC;
• hold annual meetings of creditors; and
• maintain proper books and records.

Not each and every one of ASIC’s views apply to all of the external administrations reviewed.

Mr Burton has requested cancellation of his registration as an official and a registered liquidator, and will not reapply for registration for a period of five years.

Mr Allen has not reapplied for registration for a period of five years. The EU regarding Mr Allen notes that ASIC, prior to accepting the EU, had already cancelled Mr Allen’s registration upon his request.

ASIC Commissioner John Price said: "ASIC continues its focus on liquidators as gatekeepers in our financial system. This includes ensuring they perform their duties with independence and competently in the interests of creditors. ASIC will intervene where liquidators fall short of meeting legal and professional standards."

ASIC acknowledged both Mr Burton's and Mr Allen's cooperation in the matter.

 

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