A Sydney broker has pleaded guilty to one count of failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that he did not make a false statement in a compliance certificate lodged with ASIC.
Former Australian Credit Licence (ACL) holder and mortgage brokerage Shinning Crown International Pty Ltd (SCI) director Henan Gao has pleaded guilty to one count of failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that he did not make or authorise the making of a false or misleading statement in any material, particularly in a credit licence annual compliance certificate lodged with the corporate regulator.
Mr Gao had previously been charged with one count of knowingly making a false statement in an annual compliance certificate lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Mr Gao had entered a plea of not guilty to the charge on 13 October 2020.
SCI held an ACL and operated a mortgage brokerage business in Sydney where Mr Gao was the sole fit and proper person and responsible manager of SCI’s credit licence. Mr Gao was also the sole mortgage broker for SCI’s business.
ACL holders are required to identify the people involved in the management of their credit business, known as fit and proper people. They are also required to annually lodge an ACL compliance certificate with ASIC, in which licensees are required to certify that they are complying with their credit licence obligations.
According to ASIC, in April 2016, Mr Gao had his lender accreditation with ANZ suspended. Subsequently, in May 2017, he completed and lodged a compliance certificate with ASIC on behalf of SCI. In this, he stated that none of SCI’s fit and proper people had accreditation cancelled or suspended by a lender.
This statement was false or misleading in a material particular because Mr Gao, as SCI’s only fit and proper person, had had his accreditation with ANZ suspended, ASIC said.
According to ASIC, the offending is contrary to section 225(6) of the National Consumer Credit Protection (NCCP) Act 2009.
The matter has been listed for sentencing before the Downing Centre Local Court on 23 March 2021.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.
SCI’s Australian Credit Licence was cancelled by ASIC under section 54 of the NCCP Act in November 2018.
[Related: Broker charged for falsifying ACL statement]
Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.
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