We don’t know just how much longer the logo of Retail FX broker USGFX will adorn the jersey front of Premier League team Sheffield United FC. But, it probably won’t be that much longer.
This morning the Australia based parent of USGFX, Union Standard International Group Pty Ltd, has announced that it has entered “voluntary administration” as of yesterday, July 8, 2020.
The company said that this move has largely been forced by the actions of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). USGFX said that these actions have “deeply harmed the USGFX brand” and continue to consume excessive time and resources, despite no substantial allegations against USGFX being brought to court by ASIC since last December.
In a separate announcement, the company noted that Peter Krejci and Andrew Cummins of BRI Ferrier, Insolvency and Business Recovery Accountants, were appointed Voluntary Administrators of Union Standard International Group Pty Ltd pursuant to Section 436A of the Corporations Act.
At this stage, no new account, new deposit, withdrawals or new positions will be taken. Existing client open positions will be set as “close only”. If clients have any queries, they can contact the administrator at +61 1 300 822 355.
USGFX also has an FCA regulated UK arm, Union Standard International Group Limited. No formal announcement has been made regarding that entity, although USGFX-UK had not yet launched with clients. The company received its FCA license in November 2018, and had planned to begin taking on clients in late 2019 / early 2020, just at about the time the parent company in Australia fell into issues with ASIC (more on that below).
Looking ahead to the UK launch, and in part to help brand the firm around the world, USGFX signed a three-year deal to be the front-of-shirt sponsor of Premier League team Sheffield United in June 2019. Details of that deal weren’t fully disclosed, but Sheffield United did state at the time that it was the largest-ever commercial transaction in the club’s history.
USGFX is controlled by Myanmar entrepreneur Hein Min Soe. The company has been run by Australian-Israeli CEO Shay Zakhaim since 2014.
The directors and management of USGFX stated that they are committed to continue working with all parties and assisting with matters to ensure all legal requirements are satisfied.
In December of last year ASIC announced that it was taking action involving two introducing firms to USGFX, Maxi EFX Global AU Pty Ltd (trading as EuropeFX) and BrightAU Capital Pty Ltd (trading as the Australia arm of TradeFred). The action against EuropeFX and TradeFred was effectively an asset freeze, although the restraint orders imposed on EuropeFX and TradeFred did not prevent them from making payments in the ordinary course of business to customers or creditors. They did, however, limit the business they could effectively do for USGFX, which severely curtailed USGFX’s operations.
The Australian Court also imposed orders restricting the overseas travel of John Carlton Martin who was a director of both USGFX and TradeFred. Pedro Eduardo Sasso, a director of EuropeFX, gave an undertaking that he would notify ASIC prior to leaving Australia.
Back in December the Australian Court also made asset restraint orders against USGFX itself, although those orders were vacated when USGFX gave an undertaking to the Court to keep amounts of AUD $182,000 and USD $53,067.33 in a separate bank account.