ASIC Extends BBY Ltd AFS License Suspension

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The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) made an announcement today. The announcement was in regard to it extending the suspension of the Australian Financial Services (AFS) license that is held by BBY Limited. The suspension will be extended until the 30th of June, 2021.

Extending The License Suspension

BBY Ltd stands as the main operating entity of BBY Group, and was a financial services licensee with its headquarters situated within Sydney. The company holds offices within Auckland, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne, London, Perth, New York, as well as Wellington. BBY served as a market participant within CHi-X, ASX, as well as SSX (Formerly APX). Furthermore, the firm served as a clearing and settlement participant for the ASX, as well.

BBY Group, in turn, consisted of 10 entities, and further included two other financial services Licensees, SmarTrader Limited, as well as BBY Advisory Services Pty Ltd. Under its license, BBY was further authorized to create and issue a market on FX and derivatives.

A Five-Year Debacleq

On the 28th of May, 2015, however, ASIC had suspended BBY’s AFS license. The suspension was initially set for a period of three years.

This came shortly after the firms appointed Ian Hall and Stephen Vaughan as joint administrators to BBY, having done so on the 17th of May, 2015. In terms of receivers, Brett Lord and Steven Parbery were given that role, and were further appointed as managers of BBY on the 18th of May, 2015. The Australian regulator took note that the role of receivers and managers had changed hands on the 29th of October, being shifted to Scott Langdon and Rahul Goyal. Both these parties come from KordaMentha.

After the suspension period ended, on the 27th of May, 2018, ASIC had concluded that it should extend the suspension period for another 12 months, until the 28th of May, 2019. From there, ASIC mandated a further extension on the suspension, delaying until the 31st of May, 2020. Now, another extension is warranted.

The Methods To The Madness

The suspension’s terms will allow the AFS license of BBY, but only for a very select range of purposes. One of these purposes is in order to ensure that the clients of BBY will continue to have access to the National Guarantee Fund. Another reason why is in order to ensure that the company’s clients have access to a form of an external dispute resolution scheme.

Further reasons include making sure that liquidators and receivers have the needed legal authority in order to transfer the “holder identification number” of their clients to another market participant. This transfer includes instructions from the client or will be used to convert a licensee-sponsored holding into an issuer-sponsored holding. Of course, this will occur in accordance with the Settlement Operating Rules of the ASX.

Lastly, this suspension serves to ensure that BBY is capable of continuing to require arrangements to compensate its retail clients. This compensation comes for loss and damages that were suffered due to breaches within the Corporations Act. These breaches having been done by the companies themselves, or their representatives.

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