Former responsible manager banned from credit activities following ASIC investigation

On 4 September 2020, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) banned former responsible manager Anthony ‘Tony’ David Wynd of Melbourne from performing any function involved in the engaging in of credit activities permanently, other than as an employee of an APRA-authorised approved deposit-taking institution, assisting borrowers obtain loans independently of any financial services.

Mr Wynd was previously the sole director and responsible manager of Financial Circle Pty Ltd (Financial Circle), a financial services and credit business. In November 2018, the Federal Court ordered Financial Circle pay $8,980,000 in total penalties after contravening financial services, credit and consumer protection laws (18-334MR).

The AAT’s decision follows an application by Mr Wynd for a review of ASIC’s decision in August 2019 to permanently ban him from engaging in credit activities. ASIC determined a permanent ban was appropriate given the scope of Financial Circle’s misconduct and Mr Wynd’s connection to it.

In its decision, the AAT concluded that Financial Circle’s business activities constituted egregious breaches of minimum standards required by both the financial services and credit legislation. Further, these activities exploited vulnerable consumers and made Mr Wynd’s involvement in Financial Circle, as well as his lack of insight into its flawed nature, so troubling that he should be banned from engaging in providing any credit activities permanently.

The AAT found that Mr Wynd was not the architect of the Financial Circle’s offending business model and therefore should be allowed to be employed by an APRA-authorised approved deposit-taking institution assisting borrowers obtain loans independently of financial services.

The AAT’s order was made under a new provision of the credit legislation which came into effect on 17 February 2020 under the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response-Stronger Regulators (2019 Measures)) Act 2019.

Background

Mr Wynd was the responsible manager of Financial Circle from 4 August 2017 to 19 November 2018.

Financial Circle’s Australian financial services licence (AFSL) was cancelled on 19 November 2018 (18-362MR).

ASIC’s banning of Mr Wynd took effect from 13 August 2019. On 15 August 2019, Mr Wynd applied to the AAT for a review of ASIC’s decision to permanently ban him from engaging in credit activities. At that time, Mr Wynd also applied for a stay of ASIC’s decision and a stay of ASIC issuing a media release in relation to the banning.

On 1 November 2019, the AAT refused Mr Wynd’s application for a stay of ASIC’s credit banning decision from taking effect. However, the AAT made orders prohibiting ASIC from publishing ASIC’s decision to permanently ban Mr Wynd from engaging in credit activities until further order of the AAT. The AAT’s orders prohibiting ASIC from publishing the decision expired on 2 October 2020, following expiry of the appeal period.

The credit banning follows ASIC’s decision to permanently ban Mr Wynd from providing financial services (20-150MR).

The banning has been recorded on ASIC’s publicly available Banned and Disqualified Persons Register.

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