The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced today that it has cancelled the Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence of AGM Markets, a global online forex broker. According to the regulator, the licence was cancelled due to “ unconscionable conduct and unmanaged conflicts of interest”.
It seems that AGM Markets made quite a few missteps in Australia, with the watchdog listing eight reasons for why the licence was cancelled. The first of these is that the broker was providing financial advice for securities and superannuation interests when it did not have the appropriate licence to do so. The regulator goes as far as to say that the company does not understand the scope of s911A.
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Furthermore, ASIC accuses AGM of misleading its clients and engaging in “unconscionable conduct”, that is conduct that is unethical or unreasonable. The broker has also been accused of having a poor attitude in regards to ensuring it was compliant with financial services law.
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In addition, ASIC states that AGM did not ensure that the financial services that it offered, and was covered by its licence, were provided efficiently and fairly to its clients. On top of this, the firm didn’t have the appropriate measures in place to deal with and avoid conflicts of interest.
To reduce the impact of the licence cancellation on AGM’s clients, the broker’s licence will continue until the end of this year – December 31, 2018. This is purely so that AGM maintains its membership of an external dispute resolution scheme and continues to be covered by sufficient indemnity insurance cover up until this time.
ASIC launches civil proceedings against AGM Markets
Earlier this year, ASIC warned consumers about AGM Markets, stating the broker was offering personal advice to retail investors that it was not authorised to do. Furthermore, the regulator also highlighted the firm was engaging in some shady conduct and was deliberately trying to mislead investors.
Following on from this, the Australian regulator has also launched civil proceedings against AGM Markets. According to the statement released by ASIC today, the matter is listed for hearing on June 24, 2019.
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