ASIC Advises Dover Clients To Find New Adviser

The Australian Securities and Investments Commissions has advised the clients of Dover Financial Advisers to go find financial advisor, as the major Australian company will be shutting down soon. They’ve also advised companies scooping up Dover’s planners to be careful.

According to a watchdog from the ASIC, Dover has advised the corporate regulator that it will soon be ceasing operations, meaning it will stop providing financial services. ASIC says that, even before Dover officially shuts down, its clients should go and find financial advisor, and, should they do so, to make sure that the adviser they turn to is authorized by an Australian financial services licensee.

On the 8th of June, Dover owner Terry McMaster told the firm’s 400 advisers that the Dover Financial Advisers’ licence would be terminated come July, which would result in said advisers, and about 50,000 of the firm’s clients, in limbo, as the advisers need licensing in order to offer advice.

The ASIC’s release pretty much dashes the hopes of the clients and advisers that there would be a lifeline of sorts, in the form of a transition agreement following the cancellation. This development was caused by intense scrutiny from the banking Royal Commission in May.

Mr. McMaster came under heavy questioning from the Royal Commission, which was investigating whether or not the firm was a licensee of last resort for financial advisors with less than pristine histories. The inquiry was started by ASIC back in 2017, and has refused to divulge information on the matter, only saying that inquiries on the firm was ongoing. The regulatory body has issued a warning to financial groups looking on scooping up ex-Dover advisers to be careful.

According ASIC, they have already warned Australian Financial Services licensees to ensure that they have safety measures set for their recruitment and monitoring processes when taking in advisers from a licensee with a poor history of compliance. They add that, with ex-Dover advisers, these measures need to be taken up a notch. Background checks, mandatory audit reports and reference checks are some of the precautions the ASIC has advised, on top of having arrangements for rectifying deficiencies in advice from ex-Dover advisers.

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