An Australian foreign exchange trader has had its license to operate suspended in New Zealand over "material breaches" of financial conduct law.
The Financial Markets Authority said it had suspended the derivatives issuer license of AxiCorp Financial Services Pty Limited which operates as AxiTrader for breaches of the Financials Markets Conduct Act 2013.
Those breaches include making a regulated offer to retail clients in New Zealand without a compliant Product Disclosure Statement or Disclose register entry; failing to lodge audited financial statements; and failing to obtain an assurance engagement with a qualified auditor, for its processes, procedures and controls, within four months of its balance date.
The FMA alleges AxiCorp also contravened its licence conditions by failing to notify it as soon as practicable of a change to senior or other key staff, following the appointment of its chief financial officer.
"The FMA considers that AxiCorp has demonstrated that it does not have adequate systems, processes, or resources in place to ensure compliance with the Financial Markets Conduct Act, or to effectively perform services under a licence," it said in statement.
In response, AxiTrader said in a statement: "Recently we identified that our Product Disclosure Statement for NZ clients was not fully compliant with requirements under NZ legislation. We promptly self-reported the issue to the FMA and stopped accepting any new retail clients or new positions in this jurisdiction. Affected clients were also promptly informed.
"Other issues were also identified in relation to the lodging of financial statements and notification of change of senior personnel. We have been in contact with the FMA to ensure they are informed as we remedy the identified issues.
"While we are disappointed, we respect the FMA decision and are working very closely with them to provide confidence such that the suspension may be lifted. To this end, a significant amount of remedial work has already occurred."
AxiCorp remains licenced by top tier regulators on 3 continents and we take our regulatory obligations extremely seriously.
While we remain committed to the New Zealand market, this does not currently contribute significantly to our global revenue, therefore the suspension will have minimal impact on the financial performance of AxiCorp. We continue to see double-digit growth in active clients, trading volume, revenue and EBITDA from our global business - a reflection of the quality and transparency of service we provide to our valued clients.
The FMA said AxiCorp's licence would remain suspended until it was satisfied that its concerns had been addressed. The terms of the suspension give the FMA oversight of AxiCorp's remediation efforts.
"During the suspension AxiCorp is permitted to act as a derivatives issuer in respect of a regulated offer of derivatives for the sole purpose of entering into derivatives with existing clients in order to close out any open position(s) AxiCorp has with existing clients."
The suspension was effective from July 29 2019, the regulator said.