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Money 'Clients left out to dry': Dover collapse prompts calls for compo scheme

06:45  12 june  2018
06:45  12 june  2018 Source:   msn.com

Scandal-plagued Dover Financial shuts down, as ASIC investigation continues

  Scandal-plagued Dover Financial shuts down, as ASIC investigation continues Terry McMaster is shutting down his scandal-plagued company Dover Financial, while ASIC's probe into its business practices continues.Dover has been under investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) since last year.

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Professor Ian Ramsay© Josh Robenstone Professor Ian Ramsay The collapse of Dover Financial Services has sparked renewed calls for a last resort compensation scheme to cover customers when their adviser's firm ceases to exist.

Dover owner Terry McMaster on Friday told the 400 or so advisers that operated under its banner that their coverage on Dover's licence would be removed immediately after the corporate regulator signalled it would cancel the licence. That meant advisers would have to cease giving new advice immediately and stop servicing the estimated 40,000 to 50,000 clients completely by the first week of July.

'Read email thoroughly, it contains unhappy news': Dover shuts down

  'Read email thoroughly, it contains unhappy news': Dover shuts down Its founder sensationally collapsed at the Royal Commission now he's closing the doors on Dover's advice arm.Dover Financial, based in the Melbourne suburb of Cheltenham, is one of the 10 biggest financial planning outfits in Australia and has more than 400 planners operating under its licence around the country.

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If  Dover goes into administration, clients that want to pursue their adviser for poor advice would become unsecured creditors without access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or other dispute mechanisms.

University of Melbourne professor Ian Ramsay headed a review for the federal government last year which recommended the establishment of a compensation scheme of last resort for victims of poor financial advice pointing to millions of dollars in unpaid compensation where a company would not pay up, sometimes because it no longer exists.

On Monday Professor Ramsay said it was clear that the “area of most immediate need in terms of last resort compensation is financial advice".

"When you go by the value of unpaid determinations, I think it is in excess of 90 per cent by dollar value of unpaid determinations is the financial advice area," he said.

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Mr McMaster had just been questioned about Dover 's " client protection policy", a document counsel assisting the commission Mark Costello had called "entirely misleading" and "nothing Dover 's Terry McMaster leaves the royal commission after collapsing while speaking as a witness. Stefan Postles.

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The federal government has said it will await the outcome of the Hayne Royal Commission before deciding whether to support the review's recommendation.

Govt told to publish warnings of 'Doomsday Brexit'

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Continue to our website to find out more about our pest control management services, or give us a call today for a free no obligational quote on 07855 546772. The company has been in business for many years and has a lengthy list of satisfied clients in Folkestone, Dover , Deal, Sandwich, Whitstable

CHOICE campaigns director Erin Turner said the plight of Dover showed why a scheme was needed.

"With Dover Financial closing its doors, anyone who has a current or future complaint against the company may struggle to get fair compensation. We've seen this before with financial planning," she said.

"This case highlights the need for a last-resort compensation scheme in the financial services sector. It's crucial that the financial system has appropriate protections so that anyone who has received dodgy advice gets a fair fix."

Maurice Blackburn superannuation and insurance principal Josh Mennen said the absence of a last resort scheme could "leave consumers out to dry" in situations like the one enveloping Dover.

"This is a textbook example of why a scheme of last resort is desperately needed to give confidence to consumers that they are not going to be left in financial limbo when their adviser goes bust," he said.

Mr Mennen said it was very disappointing that the Ramsay review's recommendation had not been picked up by now.

Financial Services Minister Kelly O'Dwyer's spokesman did not respond by deadline. Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen's office did not return calls.

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The pending cancellation of Dover’s licence follows intense scrutiny before the banking royal commission last month. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission remained tight-lipped on Monday about any possible action against Dover or its planners, confirming only that its inquiries into the firm were ongoing.

It is believed Mr McMaster had sought until the end of the year to wind down his business but that ASIC had told him that his time was up. Mr McMaster declined to comment.

Paul Tynan, the chief executive of Connect Financial Services Brokers, which buys and sell financial services businesses, said the time-frame for the advisers to find another licence to work under is very short.

“It’s going to be a mad scramble by the advisers to find another licence-holder to work under,” he said.

“Four hundred advisers is a hell of lot. Those taking on the advisers would have to check them out and there a lot more things that need to be done that cannot be done in a matter of weeks."

Hamilton Blackstone Lawyers posted on social media that it was discussions with affected planners to see if there is a potential for a class action on behalf of the advisers against Dover.

As well as the roughly 400 financial planners under its licence, Mr McMaster also owns McMasters Accountants and Advisers, which acts for more than 1000 doctors, dentists and other medical professionals.

It is the administrator for more than 1200 self-managed super funds, making it one of the largest SMSF accounting firms in Australia.

Its website states that McMasters Accounting and Advisers, through McMasters’ (Vic) Pty, is a corporate authorised representative of Dover Financial Advisers.

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A source close to the situation tells ET that the former couple have a child custody arrangement in place for their 1-year-old son, Eissa.A source close to the situation tells ET that Jackson and Al Mana have a child custody arrangement in place that states that a caregiver must be present when the Qatari billionaire spends time with their 1-year-old son, Eissa.

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