While it was clearly a foregone conclusion with the company in process of being liquidated, Australia financial regulator ASIC announced today that it has cancelled the Australian Financial Services (AFS) license of Sydney-based retail over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives issuer Union Standard International Group Pty Ltd (Union Standard).
Union Standard operates under the brand USGFX and held AFS license 302792.
We had reported back in mid July that ASIC had suspended USGFX-Australia’s license after the company was put into voluntary administration, and BRI Ferrier was brought in as administrator. However the BRI Ferrier people brought in to decide what to do with the company and its assets hit a wall of trouble in dealing with USGFX’s shareholder Soe Hein Minn and his representatives, leading to the decision to put USGFX into immediate liquidation, as was exclusively reported by FNG.
BRI Ferrier is actively in process of selling USGFX’s assets including (primarily) its client list, as it continues in parallel to sort through customer and creditor claims against the company. Some of the claims cover relatively large amounts of money which were supposedly deposited by clients of USGFX, to earn above-average interest rates, as opposed to be used for trading purposes.
ASIC noted that although the license is cancelled, the liquidators are allowed to conduct certain necessary activities under the license until 18 December 2020, including to have in place a dispute resolution scheme and arrangements for compensating retail clients, to hold professional indemnity insurance, and to allow the termination of existing arrangements with current Union Standard clients.
Union Standard has 28 days from the date of cancellation to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review of ASIC’s decision. However we doubt that happens, as the company is being liquidated.
More on what happened in the days leading up to USGFX’s original bankruptcy filing in late June and early July can be seen here.