ASIC has banned Matthew McCrow, a director of Jade Capital Partners (Jade Capital), from providing financial services for a period of five years, effective from 15 January 2019.
Jade Capital, a Sydney-based provider of managed discretionary account (MDA) services, recently had its Australian financial services (AFS) license cancelled by ASIC, and another of its directors, James Clinnick, was banned (19-015 MR).
ASIC has banned Mr McCrow because he was involved in Jade Capital’s breaches of the law. Jade Capital had contravened financial services laws by advertising misleading returns, fees and costs, performance history and results relating to MDA strategies. Jade Capital had also failed to ensure Mr McCrow was adequately trained and competent.
ASIC’s surveillance also revealed that, as a representative of Jade Capital, Mr McCrow had failed to comply with financial services laws on many occasions over a significant period.
Mr McCrow had failed to act in the best interests of his clients or prioritise their interests. Instead, he had recommended MDA strategies without adequately considering his clients’ goals, circumstances and financial situation or the suitability of the strategies he was recommending. ASIC also found that fees and cost disclosures in advice documents provided by Mr McCrow to clients were misleading.
As a result of these breaches, ASIC also found that Mr McCrow was not adequately trained and competent to provide financial product advice about MDAs, foreign exchange contracts or other derivatives.
The banning order for Mr McCrow has been recorded on ASIC’s publicly available Financial Advisers Register, which consumers can access to check the qualifications and credentials of financial advisers.
ASIC advises consumers to carefully consider the benefits and risks of MDAs before entering an agreement. MDAs can involve higher costs than other investment options, and consumers should consider this when deciding on an appropriate investment option to improve their financial position. MDA contract terms can differ and it is important consumers read the terms and understand the level of authority they are giving their adviser before entering an agreement.
ASIC’s MoneySmart website has useful information for clients whose advisers may have been banned, and provides tips on how to choose a new adviser. Consumers can also find out more about managed discretionary accounts on the MoneySmart site.
Jade Capital Partners Pty Ltd held AFS licence 425895 from 8 October 2012. This licence was cancelled on 11 January 2019. Under the Corporations Act, ASIC has the power to suspend or cancel an AFS licence if a licensee does not comply with its obligations under s912A.
On 23 January 2019, Mr McCrow applied to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for review and a stay of ASIC’s decision. On 14 February 2019, Mr McCrow withdrew the stay application.