AAT affirms Australian Credit Licence cancellation and banning order

On 25 October 2019, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) affirmed ASIC’s decision to ban Ms Meenakshi Devi Callychurn, a former Victorian finance broker, from engaging in credit activities for five years from 27 February 2015, and to cancel the Australian Credit Licence of her finance and mortgage broking business, Unique Mortgage Services Pty Ltd (UMS).

In affirming ASIC’s decision, the AAT found Ms Callychurn:

  • had made a statement in an annual compliance certificate that was false in a material particular or materially misleading;
  • had allowed Mr Frugtniet, her former partner, to continue his involvement in the credit activities of UMS without providing adequate supervision or oversight after he had ceased to be a fit and proper person;
  • had not provided an adequate response to notices issued by ASIC;
  • had made misleading statements to her former employer as part of its investigation and that she did not give to the AAT a full and frank account of this issue; and
  • did not give a full and frank account in her evidence to the AAT that she had demonstrated a lack of insight about the significance of her failures.

The above matters raised concerns about Ms Callychurn’s character, judgement and fitness to manage credit activities. Accordingly, the AAT was satisfied that Ms Callychurn was not fit and proper at the time the incidents had occurred, is currently not fit and proper, and it has reason to believe Ms Callychurn was likely to contravene credit legislation in the future.

Download the AAT’s decision

Ms Callychurn and UMS have the right to appeal to the Federal Court.

Background

On 27 February 2015, ASIC banned Ms Callychurn from engaging in credit activities for five years and cancelled the Australian credit license of UMS (15-064MR).

On 26 March 2015, Ms Callychurn and UMS filed an application in the AAT for a review of the banning decision and license cancellation.

On 29 February 2016, the AAT upheld the cancellation of UMS’ credit licence and the banning of Ms Callychurn from engaging in credit activities. The period of Ms Callychurn’s banning was reduced from five years to four years (16-057MR).

On 17 February 2017, Ms Callychurn and UMS filed a Notice of Appeal to the Full Federal Court from the decisions of the AAT.

On 1 September 2017, the Full Federal Court upheld Ms Callychurn and UMS’s appeal and remitted the matter to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to be re-heard (17-298MR).

On 7 and 26 March 2018, the matter was re-heard in the Melbourne AAT.

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