ASIC has banned Peter Geoffrey Gribble of Sydney, NSW, from controlling an entity that carries on a financial services business and performing any function as an officer of an entity carrying on a financial services business for three years.
Mr Gribble was banned after two companies of which he was a director refused or failed to give effect to determinations by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court said, ‘Directors of AFS licensees must ensure that their firms comply with AFCA determinations. This is a fundamental obligation of AFS licensees, and crucial in ensuring that Australia’s financial dispute resolution system remains efficient and effective.’
Mr Gribble was the sole director of former AFS licensee Qsmart Securities Pty Ltd (Qsmart), and a director of AFS licensee Quantum Funds Management Limited (Quantum).
In 2020, AFCA made a total of seven determinations against Qsmart and Quantum in response to complaints relating to unauthorised trading and disclosure failures, as well as inappropriate financial advice and other misrepresentations provided by credit representatives. These determinations directed those entities to pay consumers a total amount of approximately $2.5 million.
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ASIC found that Mr Gribble, as director of Qsmart and Quantum, approached AFCA determinations as if they were open to negotiation, including in some circumstances seeking to persuade complainants to accept less than the determination amounts.
‘AFCA determinations are not opportunities for negotiation,’ continued Deputy Chair Court. ‘Directors of AFS licensees must make sure that their firms comply with AFCA determinations within the time specified. If directors try to avoid this obligation, we will take steps to remove them from the financial sector.’
Mr Gribble’s banning order took effect from 6 October 2022. The banning does not prevent Mr Gribble from seeking to be authorised to provide financial advice
The banning has been recorded on ASIC’s publicly available Financial Advisers Register and the Banned and Disqualified register. ASIC’s Moneysmart website has useful information for consumers whose advisers have been banned.
Mr Gribble has the right to seek a review of ASIC’s decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.