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21-277MR AAT varies ASIC ban of former Spectrum Wealth director Mark Schroeder
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Tribunal) has amended ASIC’s decision to ban Mr Mark Schroeder from providing financial services (20:029MR).
In February 2020, ASIC banned Mr Schroeder, from providing financial services for six years for his role in numerous compliance failures by Spectrum Wealth Advisers Pty Ltd (Spectrum). Mr Schroeder was a director, chief executive officer, responsible manager and a key person for Spectrum.
Mr Schroeder appealed ASIC’s decision to the Tribunal.
The Tribunal found that Mr Schroeder was not a fit and proper person to provide financial services, was involved in contraventions of financial services laws by Spectrum, was not adequately trained or competent to manage the provision of financial services and may be involved in the contravention of financial services laws in the future.
In its decision, the Tribunal found that evidence of Spectrum’s failure to monitor and supervise its representatives was indicative of a culture that promoted growth over compliance, and that Mr Schroeder contributed to that culture by occupying senior roles in which he did not perform as was required.
ASIC’s decision was broadened by the Tribunal to ban Mr Schroeder from providing any financial services and performing any function involved in the carrying on of a financial services business, as well as controlling an entity that carries on a financial services business for a period of six years.
ASIC Commissioner Danielle Press, said ‘the decision is a clear reminder to officeholders that they cannot disclaim responsibility for their regulatory obligations and must faithfully, competently, fearlessly and diligently discharge their roles.’
The full decision is available via the website of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
ASIC’s banning decision was made before the Corporations Act was amended by the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response – Stronger Regulators (2019 Measures)) Act 2020 (Cth) (Stronger Regulators Act).
A question arose at the outset of these proceedings as to which law should be applied in the course of the Tribunal’s review. While the Tribunal usually applies the law in force at the time of the reviewable decision, the Tribunal concluded in Schroeder and Australian Securities and Investments Commission  AATA 2453 that the transitional provisions inserted by the Stronger Regulators Act had the effect of requiring the Tribunal to apply the law as amended in the course of their review.