ASIC has followed up on its promise to crack down on ‘finfluencers’ suspected of providing financial services without a license and sought a restraining order on Tyson Schols, a Gold Coast share trader whose 23,000 Instagram followers know him as “ASX Wolf”.
The regulator alleges Schols has been providing training courses about trading on the stock market and offering “individual one-off share suggestions” for a fee, as well as selling access to his ‘Black Wolf Pit’ chat site, hosted on communications hub Discord.
The Corporations Act imposes serious penalties for unlicenced operators providing financial services, with the area a current focus for the regulator. While financial services minister Jane Hume ruled out banning ‘finfluencers’, she joined ASIC chair Joe Longo in warning consumers of the dangers of unlicensed advice.
ASIC is seeking orders prohibiting Schols from providing recommendations or opinions about shares in exhange for money, “receiving, soliciting, transferring or disposing of customer funds” in exchange for opinions on shares and promoting or carrying on any financial services business.
“Financial advice must only be provided by qualified and licensed financial advisers or financial counsellors. Consumers who receive unlicensed advice do not have the same protections afforded to them under the law as when they receive advice from licensed providers,” the regulator stated.
Schols, who uses pictures of himself in expensive cars to promote his trading courses on social media, had a yellow Lamborghini Huracan impounded by police for hoon offences in September 2020. It’s understood his license was suspended.
The young trader’s home was also reportedly raided by the Australian Federal Police and ASIC in November this year.