ASIC takes action against licensees over AFCA membership
The corporate regulator has cancelled or suspended the licences of four financial services licensees who had not obtained an AFCA membership when they previously held external dispute membership with a previous scheme.
In a public update, ASIC said the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) advised ASIC in November last year that 58 financial services licensees and 217 credit licensees, who previously held external dispute membership with one of the previous schemes, had not obtained AFCA membership and could be in breach of their licence conduct obligations.
ASIC said that following intervention it undertook with these potentially non-compliant financial and credit licensees, 50 financial services licensees subsequently obtained AFCA membership.
It also resulted in four financial services licensees voluntarily cancel their licences and the cancellation or suspension or four financial services licensees by ASIC.
ASIC commissioner Sean Hughes said ASIC has taken proactive measures to protect consumers from those few financial services licensees and credit licensees who were not complying with the obligations of their licence by being a member of AFCA.
“ASIC’s intervention means that consumers now have access to the independent dispute resolution scheme of AFCA if their complaints are not being properly considered by the financial services licensee or credit licensee,” Mr Hughes said.
ASIC said it will continue to work closely with AFCA to identify financial services licensees and credit licensees that are not complying with their obligations.
“Where entities fail to comply, ASIC will take formal action to cancel or suspend their licences,” it said.