ASIC cancels Halifax Investment Services’ AFS licence

The Australian Services and Investments Commission announced it has cancelled the Australian financial services (AFS) licence held by Sydney-based financial services provider Halifax Investment Services Pty Limited on 8 January 2021.

The AFS licence cancellation allows Halifax to continue certain processes on a limited basis until 7 January 2022.

Those processes include:

  • ensuring that clients of Halifax continue to have access to an external dispute resolution scheme;
  • ensuring that Halifax continues to have arrangements for compensating retail clients, including the holding of professional indemnity insurance cover; and
  • providing financial services to retail or wholesale clients of Halifax limited to the termination of existing arrangements with clients.

These conditions have been put in place so that the cancellation does not adversely affect past or current clients.

ASIC, AFS licence

On 8 January 2019 the Australian watchdog suspended the Halifax AFS licence until 10 January 2020.

The suspension followed the appointment of Morgan Kelly, Stewart McCallum and Phil Quinlan of Ferrier Hodgson as joint voluntary administrators of Halifax on 23 November 2018.

On 20 March 2019 at the second creditors meeting it was decided to place Halifax into liquidation and the administrators were appointed as liquidators.

On 18 December 2019, ASIC extended the suspension of the Halifax AFS licence until 8 January 2021.

The joint hearing of the Federal Court of Australia and High Court of New Zealand seeking orders in relation to the distribution of client moneys held by Halifax commenced on 30 November 2020 and concluded on 9 December 2020.  Their Honours Justice Venning and Justice Markovic have reserved their decision on the matter.

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