Photo: FM

Finance Magnates

AFCA Warns Berndale Clients Recovery of Funds is Unlikely

Berndale had its AFS licence cancelled in November of 2018.


The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has delivered an update to its information page regarding Berndale Capital Securities Pty Ltd, an over the counter (OTC) derivative issuer who had its licence cancelled by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

In its statement, the complaints authority said: “At this stage, we understand it is unlikely that Berndale investors will have all their funds returned. It is too early to estimate the amount of funds that might be returned to each investor.”

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As Finance Magnates reported, Melbourne-based Berndale had its Australian Financial Services (AFS) cancelled in November of 2018. This is because the regulator found that the company had failed to meet the obligations of the financial licence.

In particular, the Aussie watchdog found that the company didn’t ensure that its representative complied with financial services law and didn’t have enough financial and human resources, among other contraventions.

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Berndale tried to appeal ASIC decision

Since the cancelling of the licence, Berndale has tried to appeal the decision with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. However, towards the end of 2018, ASIC obtained freezing orders from the Federal Court to freeze all of the company’s bank accounts. Since then liquidators have been appointed by the Federal Court. 

“Berndale is a current member of AFCA. While ASIC required Berndale to maintain its AFCA membership until at least 23 May 2019, Berndale will continue to remain a member of AFCA until 30 October 2020,” AFCA said on its website. 

“If you have not lodged your complaint against Berndale, you will need to do so by 30 October 2020.  AFCA will not deal with complaints it receives against Berndale after that date.”

As Finance Magnates reported last year, Berndale has failed to pay complaint-related charges to AFCA. In particular, AGM Markets Pty Ltd, Direct FX Trading Pty Ltd, and Berndale Capital Securities Pty Ltd collectively owe AU$1.245 million to the complaints authority.