Concerns raised by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) have led to retail over-the-counter (OTC) derivative issuer Ikon (Australia) Pty Ltd (Ikon) to implement measures to rectify client trust accounts and improve disclosure. The company has agreed to separate client money held in compliance with its obligations under the Corporations Act, from money held for overseas investors, which is not associated with financial services provided under its AFS licence.
Ikon’s existing business arrangements and structure are such that any financial service provided by Ikon to overseas clients is provided from offshore. Given that, these services would not be considered to be provided within Australia, and are, hence, not financial services provided under its AFS licence.
About 0.03% of Ikon’s active clients are Australian investors, the company has explained. A licensee’s client trust account that is used in connection with the provision of its financial services can only hold client money in connection with financial services covered by the AFS licence. Accordingly, Ikon is now seeking to obtain the consent from each Australian client to transfer their money into a separate segregated client trust account.
These steps aim to ensure there is no mingling of client money with any other monies that have no connection to the financial services covered by the AFS licence.
In addition, Ikon has made changes to its website as a result of ASIC’s enquiries and agreed to directly inform its overseas clients that the services it provides outside this jurisdiction are not covered by Australian regulations.
For the official announcement from ASIC, click here.