Former Equititrust CEO remains permanently banned from providing financial services

Mr Mark McIvor, former chief executive officer and founding director of Equititrust Limited (in liquidation) remains permanently banned from providing financial services after withdrawing an application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to appeal against ASIC’s original banning decision.

Mr McIvor has been permanently banned from providing financial services on 2 September 2015 following an earlier ASIC investigation into the collapse of Equititrust. At that time, Equititrust held an Australian financial services (AFS) licence and was the responsible entity of two registered schemes; Equititrust Income Fund (EIF) and the Equititrust Priority Class Income Fund (EPCIF) and was also the trustee of Equititrust Premium Fund (EPF); an unregistered managed investment scheme.

An ASIC delegate has found that whilst he was the director of Equititrust, Mr McIvor contravened a financial services law and was not of good fame or character to provide financial services. His conduct involved breaches of the financial services legislation which were considered to be very serious, repetitive, prolonged and dishonest.

In particular, the ASIC delegate found that Mr McIvor contravened financial services laws by:

  • signing 28 board meeting minutes, which falsely recorded a board meeting to approve a loan application had occurred, when no such board meeting had taken place, and in doing so, Equititrust did not meet its obligations under EIFs Compliance Plan; and
  • failing to take all the steps that a reasonable person would take, if they were in Mr McIvor’s position, namely to ensure that accurate, true and correct documents were relied upon for compliance checks and not be involved in the production of false documents.

Mr McIvor has subsequently filed applications for a review of ASIC’s decision to permanently ban him from providing financial services and to stay the operation and implementation of the banning order. The stay application has been refused by the AAT (refer 16-181MR) and on 1 September 2016, Mr McIvor withdrew his application for review of ASIC’s decision to permanently ban him from financial services.

ASIC Commissioner John Price said Mr McIvor’s conduct was at the most serious end of the offending range and that it was appropriate he be permanently banned from providing financial services.

People who provide financial services, especially those in senior management positions, are required to discharge their obligations under financial services laws efficiently, honestly and fairly. ASIC will ensure those who fail in these duties are removed from the industry,’ Mr Price said.

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