ASIC bans Union Standard director John Martin for 10 years

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has banned John Carlton Martin, who served as a director and manager of Union Standard International Group Pty Ltd between 2014 and 2019, from providing financial services for 10 years. ASIC has also barred Martin from managing corporations for five years.

ASIC said in the official statement:

ASIC found Mr Martin’s lack of understanding or regard for compliance was so serious it justified the making of significant banning and disqualification orders.

Union Standard, which is currently in liquidation, was retail OTC derivatives issuers, offering CFDs trading to clients. Union Standard and its former authorised representatives, Maxi EFX Global AU Pty Ltd (also known as EuropeFX) and BrightAU Capital Pty Ltd (also known as TradeFred) (also in liquidation) operated under the company’s Australian financial services (AFS) licence, before it was cancelled.


The Australian watchdog found that Martin was involved Union Standard’s failures to ensure that the financial services covered by its licence were provided efficiently, honestly and fairly. It was also found that Martin affected Union Standard’s failure to ensure TradeFred and EuropeFX complied with financial services laws.

ASIC discovered that Martin did not implement or enforce compliance policies and procedures. He failed to address misconduct by representatives of TradeFred and EuropeFX who provided advice to clients without having a licence to do so or making claims to clients that were likely to mislead them about the risks involved in investing.

The regulator determined that Martin is “adequately trained or competent” to deal the complex nature of the financial services and products issued by Union Standard and the high risk associated with them.

The ban on Martin follows liquidations of three companies where he served as a director – Union Standard, TradeFred and Direct FX Trading Pty Ltd.

ASIC also found that Martin failed to ensure that Union Standard and TradeFred kept written financial records as required by the Corporations Act.

In December 2020, ASIC raised civil proceedings in Federal Court against Union Standard International Group Pty Ltd and its former corporate authorised representatives EuropeFX and TradeFred.

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