ASIC has confirmed that it has cancelled the Australian financial services licence of Winley Insurance Group for failing to comply with a number of its key obligations as a financial services licensee.
In particular, ASIC found that the Perth-based AR network had:
- failed to lodge financial statements, auditor reports and auditor opinions over consecutive years, in breach of both its legal obligations and licence conditions, despite repeated demands from ASIC to comply; and
- failed to advise ASIC in writing when it became aware of this significant breach.
ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said: ‘The annual lodgement of audited accounts is an important part of a licensee demonstrating it has adequate financial resources to provide the services covered by its licence and to conduct the business lawfully.
“Be clear, ASIC will act on failures to lodge financial statements, resulting in the suspension or cancellation of the AFS licence.”
The licence cancellation is part of ASIC’s ongoing efforts to improve standards across the financial services industry and its investigations into the Winley AR group are continuing.
Although Winley’s alleged financial difficulties has been well reported in the trade press since early April – including Allianz announcing it would exercise caution when working with former Winley ARs – this is the first official statement made on the matter by ASIC.
A number Winley AR group individuals have since moved on to other authorised representative networks.