The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced this Tuesday that it has suspended the Australian financial services (AFS) license of Financial Options Pty Ltd, a Queensland-based financial services provider.
Financial Options’ license (no. 246287) has been suspended until February 26, 2020, because the regulator believed that the company did not meet its obligations as an AFS licensee.
Specifically, the Aussie watchdog has suspended the license because: “Financial Options did not lodge its accounts and audit report for the year ending 30 June 2018, failed to have a dispute resolution system in place, and did not maintain organisational competence or the resources required to provide the financial services covered by its licence,” the statement said.
Furthermore, ASIC highlights that Financial Options applied for membership with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) scheme, which came into effect on May 31 this year, after receiving a notice of hearing from the regulator.
According to the statement from the regulator, the suspension period will allow Financial Options to address ASIC’s concerns, by lodging its outstanding financial reports, as well as improve its organization, human resources, and compliance.
If the company doesn’t demonstrate that it can comply with the AFS license obligations, then the authority will consider canceling the license at the end of the suspension period.
ASIC continues push to improve market standards
The suspension of Financial Option’s licence is part of a bigger push from the Aussie regulator to improve the standards in the financial services industry. Over the past year, the authority has been clamping down on firms which have not been meeting the obligations of the AFS license.
“ASIC expects AFS licensees to do all things necessary to meet their obligations under financial services law, comply with their licence conditions and ensure that they are able to provide financial services efficiently, honestly and fairly.”