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16-299MR ASIC cancels AFS licence of The Sharemarket College for making misleading statements and bans responsible managers
ASIC has cancelled the Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence of Brisbane-based education and training business, The Sharemarket College Pty Ltd (AFS licence No 331635). ASIC has also banned the Responsible Managers of The Sharemarket College, Mr Graeme Allan Rogers and Mrs Jill Rogers.
The Sharemarket College failed to comply with a number of its obligations as a financial services licensee, including:
- making misleading or deceptive statements in relation to a financial product or a financial service;
- providing personal advice to clients when they were only licensed to provide general advice;
- failing to notify ASIC of significant breaches within 10 days; and
- failing to maintain the competence to provide financial services authorised under its AFS licence.
Mr Graeme Rogers was banned from providing financial services for a period of four years.
Mrs Jill Rogers was banned from providing financial services for a period of three years.
Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, 'All AFS licensees need to ensure their culture does not drive poor conduct within their business. ASIC will take action against licensees and individuals who fail to comply with their obligations.'
The Sharemarket College has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.
The Sharemarket College is a Registered Training Organisation that also held an AFS licence, offering training programs on trading in the share market, intraday markets and exchange traded options markets.
Responding to concerns about The Sharemarket College, ASIC shadow-shopped this business posing as potential investors. During that surveillance The Sharemarket College told ASIC staff about its own success when trading on the share market and referred to a real investment portfolio it operated with a capitalisation of $100,000. It was claimed this portfolio was achieving returns of 60 per cent per annum and that results like this could be achieved by enrolling in The Sharemarket College training courses.
An ASIC investigation established there was no investment portfolio and that the claims were false and misleading. The investigation also found that The Sharemarket College had made similar claims about the investment portfolio and the returns achieved to members of the public.
The AFS licence cancellation and the banning of Graeme and Jill Rogers took effect on30 August 2016.
Any consumers who have paid for ongoing financial services from The Sharemarket College should seek legal advice about their options. Should The Sharemarket College cease its business operations and the company liquidated you may be considered a creditor.
Consumers might seek a review of their financial situation by a licensed financial adviser. In this case, ASIC recommends you visit Choosing a financial adviser | on the ASIC's MoneySmart website.
On 23 September 2016, The Sharemarket College Pty Ltd, Graeme Rogers and Jill Rogers each lodged applications with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal seeking a review of ASIC's decisions. The Applicants also sought orders for a stay of the decisions.
Following a hearing of the stay applications on 16 November 2016, on 24 November 2016 Deputy President Cowdroy delivered his decision dismissing each of the applications for a stay.
ASIC's decisions to cancel the AFS Licence of The Sharemarket College and to ban Graeme Rogers and Jill Rogers will remain in force until the applications for review have been determined. A date for the hearing of these applications is yet to be set.
Editor's note 2:
On 28 June 2018, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) affirmed ASIC's decisions to cancel the Australian financial services (AFS) licence held by The Sharemarket College and to ban Graeme Rogers for 4 years. The Tribunal also affirmed ASIC's decision to ban Jill Rogers although it varied the period of her banning from three to two years.
The Sharemarket College, Graeme Rogers and Jill Rogers have the right to appeal to the Federal Court of Australia within 28 days of the AAT decision.