ASIC Bans USGFX Director John Martin for 10 Years


ASIC has banned USGFX director John Martin for 10 years from providing financial services, and for 5 years from managing corporations.

June 1, 2021 | AtoZ Markets The Australian Securities and Exchange Commission (ASIC) has banned John Carlton Martin from providing financial services for ten years. Additionally, he is disqualified from managing any corporation for five years.

According to ASIC announcement on Tuesday, the Australian regulator found that Martin, who is the Director and a former Manager of the now-collapsed Union Standard International Group Pty Ltd (USGFX), lacked the understanding for compliance of the complex and risky derivatives market.

He failed to take the necessary steps to ensure that the licensed financial services provided by the company were efficient, honest and fair. Additionally, he could not ensure that TradeFred and EuropeFX, two former corporate authorized representatives operating under USGFX’s license, complied with the financial services laws.

In making the banning order, ASIC also found Mr Martin is not adequately trained or competent and is not a fit and proper person to provide financial services,” ASIC said.

Apart from USGFX, Martin was the Director of TradeFred and Direct FX Trading Pty Ltd.

In addition to the findings of Mr Martin’s banning, ASIC also found Mr Martin failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that Union Standard and TradeFred complied with the Corporations Act requirement to keep written financial records,” the regulator alleged.

USGFX problems and dilemmas

As AtoZ Markets reported, the Australia-based brokerage firm entered “voluntary administration” on July 8, 2020, with the appointment of BRI Ferrier.

Shortly after filing for bankruptcy, USGFX’s longtime CEO, Shay Zakhaim ended his tenure with the company as the administrator, Peter Krejci, and Andrew Cummins of BRI Ferrier took over its control.

USGFX continued its downward spiral after ASIC suspended, and later canceled the AFS license of the brokerage firm until 23 September 2020, due to the external administration.

Despite these many woes, the brokerage is persevering remains committed to retaining its brand and global operations.

The brokerage firm which now operates with licenses obtained from the regulators in the United Kingdom, South Africa, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, has rebranded itself along with local subsidiaries.

Under the United Strategic International Group, the subsidiaries will be known as:

  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines – United Strategic International LCC
  • South Africa – United Strategic International (Pty) Ltd
  • United Kingdom – United Strategic International Limited

The rebranding has probably pushed to drop the tainted USGFX brand, which has created a ton of controversy with its Australian operation.

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