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Tuesday 26 June 2012

12-138MR ASIC acts to wind up Australia AFT Finance Market

ASIC has obtained declarations and orders in the South Australian Registry of the Federal Court against Australia AFT Finance Market Pty Ltd (AFT), now known as Stone Assets Management Pty Ltd. AFT promoted trading in contracts for difference (CFDs) via the websites www.aftfx.com and www.aftfx.com.au.

AFT does not hold an Australian financial services (AFS) licence and is not authorised to provide financial services in Australia.

On 19 June 2012, the Court made declarations that AFT had contravened various sections of the Corporations Act by carrying on a financial services business without holding an AFS licence, and by making false or misleading statements to encourage people to buy financial products.

The Court also ordered AFT be wound up, Hilary Orr be appointed liquidator and AFT pay ASIC’s costs.

ASIC Commissioner Peter Kell said businesses providing financial services in Australia had to hold an AFS licence so that ASIC could monitor the industry and ensure people are provided with accurate information in a fair and honest way.

‘ASIC took this action because AFT was providing financial services without a licence. These orders and declarations will help to protect consumers from being misled by the false claims on the website operated by AFT,’ Mr Kell said.

Background

On 4 November 2011, ASIC obtained interim orders freezing money held in bank accounts operated by AFT and restraining AFT from marketing any financial product and providing any financial product.

On 27 December 2011, AFT changed its name to Stone Assets Management Pty Ltd.

AFT was incorporated in Australia but ASIC was concerned that its sole director has never been a resident of Australia.

ASIC was also concerned the content of www.aftfx.com.au and www.aftfx.com contained false statements including that AFT was formerly named Adelaide Finance Market Co Ltd and, after merging with a company named Brisbane Financial Securities Co. Ltd, changed its name to AFT Finance Market Holdings Limited. No companies with those names have been incorporated in Australia.

During its investigation, ASIC identified another website, www.nftfx.com, relating to a company called Australia NFT Finance Market Pty Ltd which contains many of the same claims as the AFT website. Australia NFT Finance Market Pty Ltd is not a company incorporated in Australia.

Last updated: 25/06/2012 12:00