ASIC cancels AFS licence of Australian Cricket Bat Willow Plantation Management Services

ASIC has cancelled the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Melbourne-based responsible entity Australian Cricket Bat Willow Plantation Management Services Limited (ACB).

ACB is the responsible entity for the Australian Cricket Bat Willow Project ARSN 091 445 046 (the Scheme).

An ASIC surveillance found that ACB failed to:

  • comply with the financial services laws;
  • comply with the Scheme’s compliance plan;
  • maintain adequate financial resources to provide the financial services covered by its licence; and
  • lodge compliance plan audit reports for the years ending 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2018.

ACB was unable to rectify the concerns identified during the surveillance, and as a result, ASIC cancelled ACB’s AFS licence on 14 December 2019.

ASIC Commissioner Danielle Press said, “Licensees must do all things necessary to meet their obligations, comply with their licence conditions, and ensure that the financial services covered by their licence are provided efficiently, honestly and fairly.”

Ms Press said, “Firms should take steps to ensure they meet their licence obligations. If they do not have the resources to do so, they should find a compliant licensee willing to take on their financial services business.”

ACB may appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review of ASIC’s decision.

Members of the Scheme should contact ACB about the future of the Scheme.

Background

Australian Cricket Bat Willow Plantation Management Services Limited has held AFS licence no. 241253 since 22 January 2004.

Although ASIC has cancelled the licence, it has used its power under s915H of the Corporations Act to allow ACB to conduct certain necessary activities until 25 May 2021 to facilitate the winding up of the Scheme.

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