ASIC has banned Albert Christen Walters, known as Chris Walters, from performing the functions of an officer and a responsible manager of a financial services business for four years, after finding that he is not competent and is not a fit and proper person to perform those roles.

Mr Walters was a director and the sole responsible manager for Australian financial services licensee, Consolidated Mercantile Group Ltd (CMG). ASIC found from March 2019 to August 2021, Mr Walters failed to monitor and oversee CMG’s business, including its bank accounts and client accounts, and failed to ensure that CMG complied with financial services laws. It was also found that Mr Walters failed to address concerns raised by ASIC regarding CMG’s conduct.

ASIC expects responsible managers to be actively involved in their licensee’s financial services business, which includes being directly responsible for significant day-to-day decisions. When Mr Walters ceased to be involved in CMG’s business in 2019, he should have arranged for a replacement responsible manager to ensure the business was being monitored and oversight was provided.

Mr Walters’ banning has been recorded on ASIC’s publicly available Banned and Disqualified persons register.

Mr Walters has the right to seek a review of ASIC’s decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Background

From 2005 to March 2019, Mr Walters was a director, shareholder and the sole responsible manager of CMG. In March 2019, Mr Walters sold CMG to another company but remained a director and the sole responsible manager.

Responsible managers must have direct responsibility for significant day-to-day decisions about an AFS licensee’s financial services. More information is available in ASIC’s Regulatory Guide 105 AFS licensing: Organisational competence.