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ASIC joins previously banned financial adviser to proceeding against Melbourne-based financial services business


The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has successfully applied to the Federal Court to make Joshua Fuoco a fourth defendant in proceedings against Wealth and Risk Management (WRM) and its related companies Yes FP and Yes FS.

ASIC alleges the defendants breached various provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001, including the best interests obligations financial advisers owe to their clients under the Future of Financial Advice provisions, and other provisions relating to misleading and deceptive conduct and unconscionable conduct.

Mr Fuoco is the owner of WRM, Yes FP and Yes FS and was the director of the three defendant companies until he was disqualified by ASIC from managing corporations for 2¿ years from 13 May 2016. Mr Fuoco was also previously banned by ASIC from providing financial services for 5 years from 13 January 2010 to 12 January 2015.

ASIC alleges that Mr Fuoco was knowingly involved or concerned in various contraventions by WRM, Yes FP and Yes FS, including that he was involved in:

  • unconscionable conduct by WRM, Yes FP and Yes FS in contravention of s 12CB of the ASIC Act;
  • carrying on an unlicensed financial services business by Yes FS in contravention of ss. 911A, alternatively 911B, of the Corporations Act; and
  • Yes FS's misleading and deceptive representations in contravention of s 1041H of the Corporations Act and ss. 12DA and 12DB(1)(f) of the ASIC Act.
On 8 August 2017 the court made new orders in the proceeding, including that the defendants are required to file their defence by 13 September 2017. The original trial date of 2 October 2017 has been vacated and the matter set down for trial on 1 February 2018.


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ACCC grants authorisation to Virgin Australia's mainland China and Hong Kong airline alliance


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted authorisation to coordinate airline services for five years to Virgin Australia Airlines, the HNA Aviation Group, Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express Airways. The Alliance Framework Agreement may see additional airline services operate between Australia and mainland China, and Australia and Hong Kong.

"The ACCC considers the alliance will likely realise significant public benefits, primarily through supporting the introduction of new services between Australia and mainland China and Hong Kong including by Virgin," ACCC Commissioner Roger Featherston said.

Since the ACCC granted interim authorisation in March 2017, Virgin has commenced services between Australia and Hong Kong. Virgin also expects to launch services between Australia and mainland China.

The airlines will coordinate their international passenger transport services such as codesharing, frequent flyer program participation, lounge access, route planning, and scheduling.

"The ACCC considers that the alliance is unlikely to result in any significant public detriment as there was unlikely to have been any material overlap between direct flights operated by Virgin and any of the other airlines in the short to medium term without the alliance in place," Mr Featherston said.


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Commonwealth Bank to refund over $10 million for mis-sold consumer credit insurance


The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced that the Commonwealth Bank (CommBank) will refund over 65,000 customers approximately $10 million, after selling them unsuitable consumer credit insurance (CCI).

CCI is a type of add-on insurance, sold with credit cards, personal loans, home loans and car loans. It is promoted to borrowers to help them meet their repayments if they become sick, injured or involuntarily unemployed.

CommBank sold 'CreditCard Plus', insurance for credit card repayments, to 65,000 customers who were unlikely to meet the employment criteria and would be unable to claim the insurance.

CommBank is also refunding approximately $586,000 in premiums to around 10,000 customers after it over-insured these customers for Home Loan Protection CCI taken out with a Commonwealth Bank home loan, resulting in the over-charging of premiums.

ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell said it was unacceptable that customers were sold insurance that did not meet their needs. "One of ASIC's priorities is addressing poor consumer outcomes associated with add-on insurance, including CCI. Consumers should not be sold products that provide little or no benefit, and banks should have processes in place that ensure this."

CommBank and CommInsure identified and reported this issue to ASIC.

CommBank will be contacting eligible 'CreditCard Plus' customers shortly.


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Recent News

ASIC joins previously banned financial adviser to proceeding against Melbourne-based financial services business 17/08/2017 9:08:01 PM
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ACCC grants authorisation to Virgin Australia's mainland China and Hong Kong airline alliance 16/08/2017 8:43:47 PM
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Commonwealth Bank to refund over $10 million for mis-sold consumer credit insurance 15/08/2017 7:24:23 PM
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