Olive Financial Markets’ AFSL cancellation for misleading conduct involving prohibited hawking by cold-calling clients to rollover super funds into managed discretionary accounts has been upheld by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, according to ASIC.

The regulator cancelled Olive’s AFS in March 2020 due to concerns it had breached several of its legal obligations. 

Following a hearing last year, AAT found that Olive’s contraventions included engaging in unconscionable conduct, prohibited hawking, misleading or deceptive conduct, false or misleading statements, failing to provide appropriate advice, and failing to act in the best interests of clients. 

Between 2013 and 2018, Olive operated two Gold Coast-based businesses: 

  • A managed discretionary account service conducted through Olive’s authorised representatives Share Express, Markets and Investor Centre Australia, which traded in contracts for difference (CFDs) over equities, commodities, indices and foreign exchange; and 
  • A superannuation rollover business, conducted through Olive’s authorised representatives Camori, Ricarmo and Paradise Financial Group, which involved clients being cold-called and advised to roll over their superannuation from their existing fund to be managed by Olive on either the Hub24 or Netwealth Investments platform.

Despite improvements made by Olive to improve the business, the AAT said it Olive has since made improvements to its business, and the AAT does not currently have reason to believe it is likely to contravene its obligations in the future. Despite this, AAT is satisfied the cancellation was appropriate. 

The AAT found that Olive did not comply with its obligations as an AFSL by failing to:

  • Comply with financial services laws; 
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure that its representatives complied with financial services laws; 
  • Have available, adequate resources to provide the financial services covered by the licence and to carry out supervisory arrangements; 
  • Ensure its representatives were adequately trained and competent to provide the financial services covered by the licence; 
  • Have an appropriate internal dispute resolution mechanism; and
  • Do all things necessary to ensure that the financial services covered by the licence are provided efficiently, honestly and fairly. 

ASIC also banned Olive’s former director, Scott John Morrison, from providing financial services for seven years, effective from 3 April 2020. Morrison did not appeal his banning to the AAT.