Corporate Advisory Bulletin – 5 August 2014

August, 2014

In the media

ASIC cancels 8 AFSLs after review

Eight businesses have had their Australian financial services (AFS) licenses cancelled while a further seven face possible suspension or cancellation after an ASIC review into AFS licensees that have been failing to lodge their annual statements with ASIC. The review has resulted in the cancellation and suspension of the following licensees: Accountants Plus, Benchmark Holdings, Citywide Investment Services, Lateral Thinking, Mariner Insurance, TIS Logistics, Graeme Bartlett & Associates, Neville Krynauw & Associates, Cabot Square Financial Planning and Southpoint Insurance Brokers.

ASIC reviewed 72 AFS licensees, with 38 licensees voluntarily lodging “outstanding” documents and 17 electing to cancel their AFS licences. 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 in compliance with the Corporations Act 2001.

ACCC given power to fine those that breach the Code

The government has granted the ACCC the power to fine franchisees and franchisors that breach the Franchising Code of Conduct. As of 1 January 2015, franchisees or franchisors that breach a civil penalty provision will now receive an infringement notice of $8,500 from the ACCC, in addition to any pecuniary penalties ordered by the Court.

To read more, please click here.

Published – articles, papers, reports

Chartered Secretary – Corporate boards: A closer eye on environmental and social issues?
By Jon Lukomnik, Executive Director, Investor Responsibility Research Centre Institute

Governance Directions, Governance Institute of Australia, July 2014

The Investor Responsibility Research Centre Institute has conducted research into board oversight on sustainability and social issues among the S&P 500 in the US.

The results show that:

The results suggest that a combination of past scrutiny and industry risk exposure will create greater oversight. However, this rationale does not apply to the retail sector which is the least likely to have board oversight in spite of decades of criticism for labour and human rights issues, employment and recycling practices.

In practice and courts

ASIC Responses to feedback on REP 384 Regulating complex products (Report 400)

ASIC has published feedback it has received on the risks posed to investors by complex products and options for mitigating these risks. ASIC received nine sets of feedback from: an individual, a stock exchange, a stockbroking business, industry associations, academics and financial advisory businesses. ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, ‘Complex products, due to their nature, can be difficult for investors to understand. This can lead to them being mis-sold. This risk can be amplified where investors perceive a product to be simple when in fact it has a complex structure or complex features that may have an impact on its performance. ASIC will continue to monitor issuers’ compliance with disclosure and advertising when selling complex products.

To read more and download the report, please click here.

Contact Mills Oakley


Warren Scott | Partner
T: +61 3 9605 0984


Daniel Livingston | Partner 
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Stuart Gibson | Partner
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Warwick Painter | Partner
T: +61 2 8289 5808


Gavin Douglas | Partner
T: +61 2 8289 5855


Simon Champion | Partner
T: +61 2 8289 7926


Tim Cox | Partner
T: +61 2 3228 0442


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