ASIC suspends license of AGM Markets following concerns over corporate structure


Australia’s ever vigilant national regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has taken action against yet another retail FX entity, this time suspending the license of AGM Markets Pty.

ASIC began to demonstrate its will to scrutinize retail FX firms operating under its jurisdiction last year following the implementation of more advanced surveillance systems and a distinct reluctance to process new AFS licenses, as reported exclusively by LeapRate.

Several ASIC biannual reports which have been issued by ASIC have made reference to the regulator considering the monitoring of FX business in Australia to be a priority.

On this basis, today’s suspension of AGM Markets Pty’s AFS license represents another example of ASIC’s ongoing crackdown on the margin FX industry and work around retail investment in foreign exchange.

AGM stopped operating a financial services business in May 2014 however has indicated it intends to recommence its business at the end of April 2015. This move follows a number of changes to the company’s name and corporate structure, including members. ASIC has the power to suspend or cancel an AFS licence where a financial services business has ceased to operate.

ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, “Participants in the margin FX industry can be exposed to turmoil in currency markets and ASIC wants to ensure licensees wanting to be part of this sector are in a position to meet their AFS licence obligations. If businesses can’t demonstrate this, ASIC can cancel licences.”

AGM’s licence has been suspended for six months from 26 March 2015.

ASIC has been engaged in taking action against several firms during recent months. Last year, the regulator put an end to the “Aussie Rob Lifestyle” by banning Robert Lloyd Wilson from providing financial services and warning the public against dealing with him for his promotion of a program that showed ‘when to get in and when to get out’ of trades. These trades included, among other things, FX trades.

Furthermore, Pepperstone agreed to stop providing FX in Japan following inquiries by ASIC that revealed the company was not licensed by the Japanese Financial Services Agency. ASIC also canceled the AFS licence of online FX broker Global Derivative Services after an investigation found it failed to comply with a number of its licence obligations, as well as having accepted an enforceable undertaking from online FX broker Forex Financial Services prohibiting it from operating managed discretionary accounts.

Vault Market was closed down by ASIC and its sole director Mr MD Anamul Amin was removed from the financial services industry, and potential investors were warned by ASIC not to deal with YoutradeFX as it is not licensed to trade in margin FX in Australia.

Monarch FX and its former director and general manager, Quinten Hunter were restrained from carrying on a financial services business in Australia, and following a surveillance, Calibre Investment changed the way it offers FX services to retail clients. Very recently, AFS canceled Enfinium’s AFS licence due to, among other things, concerns around inadequate risk management systems and just last week, investors were advised by ASIC not to deal with Grandegoldens because it is not licensed to trade in margin FX in Australia

Australia maintains a strong reputation as a nation with a well organized financial markets economy and has long been a favorite destination for brokers wishing to operate in a Western jurisdiction with a good economy and maintain a close proximity to the Asia Pacific region.

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ASIC suspends license of AGM Markets following concerns over corporate structure

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