23/03/2016 - 15:25

Financial firm stifled on client data

23/03/2016 - 15:25

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A local financial services firm has been unable to secure its clients’ data following the failure of its east coast-based execution broker.

BLOCKED: Collin Vost says he is concerned about the lack of action by various authorities. Photo: Attila Csaszar

A local financial services firm has been unable to secure its clients’ data following the failure of its east coast-based execution broker.

A Perth-based financial services firm has been unable to recover confidential client data it claims was passed on to a much larger east coast organisation, despite numerous pleas to authorities over many months.

New York Securities director Collin Vost told Business News his clients have been unable to access any of their previous transactional data for the past 10 months, or prepare a portfolio valuation as at June 30 2015 to provide to the Australian Taxation Office as required.

Like dozens of similar business around the country, New York Securities had for several years used ASX-listed BBY as an execution broker and settling agent. However, BBY went into voluntary administration in May last year, owing about 150 creditors.

KPMG was appointed the administrator and PPB Advisory named receivers.

BBY was sold within two weeks to raise funds for those owed money by firm.

It was bought by AIMS Financial Group, a group led by George Wang, the owner of the Asia Pacific Stock Exchange, which is headquartered in Sydney and has five listed companies.

The price of the sale was not disclosed, with Aims Financial Group only stating that it had not acquired the liabilities and licences of BBY and that the business would now operate under its subsidiary, App Securities.

Following the sale, Mr Vost alleges, App Securities gained access to his clients’ information and used their contact details to send them marketing material.

Mr Vost said he had previously been assured by BBY that all his clients’ information would remain confidential.

“This is a … breach of the agreement with BBY as well as a major breach of privacy,” Mr Vost told Business News.

Mr Vost has also been scathing of the Australian Securities Exchange and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

“It keeps getting shoved around with no one party taking control and fixing it,” he said.

Mr Vost said two companies BBY outsourced work to – GBST and Agility – continue to hold his clients’ information but informed him they were not in a position to return it without permission from App Securities or KPMG.

Mr Vost said while he had lost up to $50,000 and several clients during the impasse, his main concern was the lack of action by the various authorities he approached.

He said he believed those responsible for breaching his clients’ privacy should be held to account.

KPMG told Business News there was absolutely no validity to Mr Vost’s claims and it was not a BBY matter.

App Securities declined to comment.

The ASX told Business News it had advised Mr Vost it could not help him.

“The matter has arisen in the administration and liquidation process, beyond ASX’s authority or visibility,” a spokesperson said.

ASIC said it couldn’t comment on complaints it received, but that it looked like a matter for the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

An OAIC spokesperson said because privacy complaints were treated confidentially it could not disclose information about complaints received.

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