ASIC has cancelled the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Global Derivative Services Pty Ltd (GDS) after an investigation found it failed to comply with a number of its AFS licence obligations.
According to its website, GDS holds itself out as a leader in the field of forex, binary options and contracts for difference. The company's only director, Brenton Ganesh Nair, lives in South Africa.
ASIC's investigation found GDS failed to comply with conditions of its AFS licence concerning:
- the appointment and ongoing competency of the key person on the AFS licence
- notification of changes to the responsible person
- lodgement of accounts
- payment of debts
- adequacy of financial and human resources, by failing to maintain an Australian resident director and registered office, and
- failing to provide up-to-date details with the Financial Ombudsman Service and on its website.
Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, 'Licensees must ensure they are up-to-date and actively complying with all current obligations.
'ASIC will not hesitate to act against licensees who fail in this regard'.
ASIC's action in cancelling the AFS licence of GDS continues its focus on retail over-the-counter (OTC) derivative providers, including margin foreign exchange.
Over the past two years, ASIC has seen an increase in the number of entities applying for an AFS licence authorising the entity to operate a retail OTC derivative business, particularly in the area of retail margin foreign exchange services.
ASIC is continuing to conduct a surveillance of this industry and currently has several investigations into retail OTC derivative businesses on foot.
GDS has the right to lodge an application for review of ASIC’s decision with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
ASIC's recent action in relation to retail margin foreign exchange licensees include:
- shutting down unlicensed foreign exchange trading (refer: 14-155MR), and
- accepting an enforceable undertaking from an online FX broker operating managed discretionary accounts (refer: 14-036MR).
ASIC has also warned retail investors about the dangers of foreign exchange trading (refer: 13-283MR).
See our MoneySmart website for more information on the dangers of foreign exchange trading