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Banned broker’s appeal to go back to court

by Reporter4 minute read
Scales of Justice

A former Victorian mortgage broker is to have her appeal on her ban for credit activities heard once again, following a Federal Court decision.

On Friday (1 September), the Full Federal Court upheld an appeal by former Victorian finance broker Meenakshi Devi Callychurn — and her company Unique Mortgage Services Pty Ltd (UMS) — against the decision of another judge.

The decision by the full court goes against that of the Honourable Justice Beach, who had dismissed her appeal in January 2017.

Ms Callychurn was originally banned from credit activities for five years and had her credit licence cancelled after ASIC raised allegations that she had submitted two Annual Compliance Certificates for UMS with false or misleading responses; was not engaged in operating the business and attending to duties associated with the UMS credit licence; did not understand her responsibilities in relation to the UMS credit licence; and showed a lack of preparedness to engage with ASIC, among other allegations.

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In February last year, the Administrative Appeal Tribunal (AAT) reduced her ban to four years but upheld the credit licence cancellation.

However, Ms Callychurn then advanced nine grounds of appeal on that decision, largely relating to questions of law.

While the appeal was dismissed by Justice Beach, that full Federal Court has now upheld her appeal against the decision.

The judgement reveals that the Federal court had the “benefit of helpful submissions from counsel on both sides (unlike the primary judge)” and that the primary judge had “erred” on several findings.

The court has remitted the matter to the AAT to be re-heard, at a cost to ASIC, and said that there be “no order for costs of the proceeding before the primary judge”.

The banning of Ms Callychurn and the cancellation of UMS's credit licence remain in place.

[Related: Federal Court dismisses broker’s appeal]

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