Financial Circle director banned permanently for personal loan fraud
Australia’s financial regulator ASIC has announced that it has permanently banned Anthony ‘Tony’ David Wynd of Melbourne from providing financial services.
Tony Wynd was the sole director and responsible manager of Financial Circle Pty Ltd (Financial Circle), a financial services and credit business ordered by the Federal Court to pay AUD $8,980,000 in total penalties after contravening financial services, credit and consumer protection laws involving his company’s offering of personal loans to those with low credit.
ASIC determined a permanent ban from the provision of financial services was appropriate given Mr Wynd’s position at Financial Circle, his connection to that misconduct, the seriousness of that misconduct and the likelihood that Mr Wynd would contravene a financial services law in the future.
Financial Circle offered personal loans to consumers of up to $5,000 that could only be obtained if the consumer agreed to receive and implement financial advice. The advice typically recommended purchasing personal insurance products and switching superannuation providers.
When consumers implemented the advice, significant advice fees were paid to Financial Circle directly from the consumer’s superannuation. Financial Circle also received ongoing commission payments from the insurers. This process often resulted in a substantial erosion – in many cases up to 30% – of the client’s superannuation balances.
Financial Circle’s Australian financial services licence (AFSL) was cancelled on 19 November 2018. Mr Wynd was the responsible manager of Financial Circle from 4 August 2017 to 19 November 2018.
The permanent ban took effect from 13 August 2019. On 15 August 2019, Mr Wynd applied to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review of ASIC’s decision to permanently ban him from providing financial services. At that time, Mr Wynd also applied for a stay of ASIC’s decision from taking effect and a stay of ASIC issuing a media release regarding ASIC’s financial services banning decision.
On 1 November 2019, the AAT refused Mr Wynd’s application for a stay of ASIC’s financial services banning decision from taking effect. However, the AAT made orders prohibiting ASIC from publishing ASIC’s decision to permanently ban Mr Wynd from providing financial services until further order of the AAT.
On 13 May 2020, Mr Wynd withdrew his application to the AAT for a review of ASIC’s decision to permanently ban him from providing financial services.
On 22 June 2020, the AAT made orders vacating the prohibition on ASIC publishing its financial services banning decision.