Australian Regulator Suspends FTX’s Regulatory License

Australian Regulator Suspends FTX’s Regulatory License

  • Australia’s financial regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has suspended FTX Australia’s operating license.
  • KordaMentha administrators will work towards recouping 30,000 Australian investors’ investments. 
  • ASIC reiterates its commitment to working closely with international regulators and external administrators to resolve the crisis.
  • Employees of FTX Australia are said to be cooperating with administrators. 
  • FTX was recently suspended from operating in the Bahamas, with the exchange under investigation in the U.S..

The crisis rocking FTX deteriorated further on Wednesday, November 16th, after the financial regulator of Australia, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), suspended the exchanges financial service license. 

According to an announcement by the Australian financial regulator, the suspension will last until May 15th, 2023. Notably, the agency added that the revocation of FTX Australia’s license became unavoidable after it was placed into voluntary administration a few days ago. 

On November 11th, 2022, John Mouawad, Scott Langdon, and Rahul Goyal of KordaMentha were appointed as voluntary administrators of FTX Australia and its subsidiary FTX Express Pty Ltd. The appointed KordaMentha administrators will be tasked with recouping the investments of an approximate 30,000 Australian investors, and 132 Australian firms.

FTX can Continue to Provide Financial Offerings

The agency clarified that the FTX subsidiary will be allowed to continue conducting business in the country until December 19th, however, it insisted that any such services must relate to the termination of existing derivatives with clients. 

The agency has reiterated its commitment to working closely with international regulators and external administrators to unravel the crisis, and has urged customers of the troubled exchange to seek updates from the FTX Group, as well as Australia’s administrators, on the KordaMentha website. 

The ASIC ruling allows for FTX Australia to appeal the decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. According to reports, employees of FTX Australia are cooperating with administrators to carry out the required tasks.

Growing Troubles Worldwide

Before the revocation of its license, FTX Australia had been well regarded for its part in helping to develop a robust market for derivatives and foreign exchange contracts. It is particularly noteworthy that the exchange offered these services to retail and wholesale clients in the country. 

Beyond creating a market for such offerings, it also offered general advice on differing forms of investments relating to derivatives and foreign exchange contracts.

However, following the FTX’s bankruptcy filing, made on November 11th, Bahamas regulator, the Securities Commission of The Bahamas (SCB), froze the assets of the FTX subsidiary in the country, and terminated the exchange’s registration. According to recent reports, the bankrupt crypto exchange is also under criminal investigation in the Bahamas. Multiple U.S. government agencies are also said to be investigating the troubled exchange.

On the Flipside

  • In the midst of growing troubles, ex-FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried has shared his desire to “raise liquidity, make customers whole, and restart.” Additionally, he claimed that Alameda had held more assets than liabilities even just days before it filed for bankruptcy.

Why You Should Care

As a result of the recent suspension, 30,000 Australian users are left uncertain as to the status of their funds held in the exchange.

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