Updated: 29 May 2024

Updated: 28 May 2024

The Board of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority Ltd (AFCA) has advised the administrators of Dixon Advisory & Superannuation Services Pty Ltd (Subject to Deed of Company Arrangement) that it intends to expel Dixon Advisory from membership of the AFCA external dispute resolution scheme.

The administrators have 21 days to make any submissions regarding the notice of expulsion.

Pending board consideration of any submissions, the expectation is that the expulsion would take effect on and from 30 June 2024.

The decision to give notice of expulsion was made by the AFCA Board at the first board meeting to follow the end of Dixon’s mandatory membership of the AFCA scheme.

In cancelling Dixon Advisory’s Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) in April 2023, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) had required it to remain an AFCA scheme member until at least 8 April 2024. That requirement has now expired.

Under AFCA’s Constitution, proposed membership expulsions must go before the AFCA Board for consideration and decision.

The AFCA Board will consider any submissions made by Dixon Advisory at its next board meeting on 20 June 2024, before making its final decision.

AFCA can only accept complaints about firms that are current members of the AFCA scheme. Once an AFCA member is expelled, AFCA cannot accept any new complaints against that former member, however the expulsion of a member does not prevent AFCA from considering and finalising complaints received prior to the member being expelled.

Complaints received

As at 30 April 2024, AFCA had 2,492 complaints registered for Dixon Advisory since AFCA’s inception at 1 November 2018. AFCA will continue to receive and investigate complaints while Dixon Advisory is a current member of AFCA.

Work is well under way, but it will take time to get through the large number of Dixon complaints. We thank people for their patience. It is important that this work is conducted with the rigour that’s required.

See details below on how to lodge a complaint.

Dixon Advisory and Superannuation Services Pty Ltd (Subject to Deed of Company Arrangement)

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission cancelled the Australian Financial Services Licence held by Dixon Advisory and Superannuation Services Pty Ltd (Subject to Deed of Company Arrangement), effective 5 April 2023.

The terms of the cancellation require Dixon Advisory to maintain membership of AFCA until at least 8 April 2024. This means it will still be possible to lodge a complaint with AFCA, because Dixon Advisory remains a member, until at least that time.  

ASIC previously informed former clients of Dixon Advisory to consider lodging complaints with AFCA to preserve possible eligibility under a potential future Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (CSLR)  

The Federal Government passed legislation for a Compensation Scheme of Last Resort on 22 June 2023.

Paused complaints are now under investigation

In January 2022, AFCA was advised that Dixon Advisory had been placed into Voluntary Administration.  As a result, AFCA paused progress of all complaints against Dixon Advisory. 

This is in line with our practice for the handling of complaints involving insolvent firms, including those in Voluntary Administration. Now that legislation has passed to establish a CSLR, we have commenced early work to investigate these complaints and assess if they may be eligible to raise a CSLR claim.  

Whether or not a former client of Dixon Advisory is eligible to raise a claim for compensation will depend on the individual circumstances of the advice they were given, and the scope of the CSLR as set out in the legislation. 

If a complaint is eligible, AFCA will consider the complaint further. However, this process will take time due to the large number of Dixon Advisory complaints lodged with AFCA. If the complaint is not eligible, AFCA will contact the consumer to explain why. 

What can I do to prepare for my complaint to be investigated?

To ensure our case workers can efficiently deal with your complaint, you can start gathering relevant information in preparation for our contact. Information we typically request includes: 

  • SMSF Trust Deed and investment strategy
  • Correspondence (including emails, letters, etc) received from Dixon Advisory in relation to investment recommendations
  • Statements of Advice, Records of Advice and any other advice documents provided by Dixon Advisory, such as copies of Fact Finds and Risk Profile if you have one
  • SMSF financial statements available from when you became a client of Dixon’s, to date
  • A copy of your SMSF portfolio holdings as at 30 June 2023 (if applicable)
  • Cash management account statement from 1 July 2022 if SMSF financial statements for the 2022-23 financial year are not available, and
  • Other information about your SMSF, including ABN numbers.

We are working through a significant number of paused complaints.  It will take time for us to contact you, as we work through each complaint with the care and rigour that is required.  Having this information ready for when we contact you will assist us in reviewing complaints as quickly as we can.  

There is no need to contact us, we will be in touch when your case is allocated for investigation.

If you are considering winding up your SMSF

If you have a complaint relating to your SMSF before AFCA and are considering winding up the SMSF, AFCA encourages you to seek independent financial and legal advice.

Winding up the SMSF may have implications for your complaint, AFCA’s ability to consider your complaint and any potential eligibility you may otherwise have for the CSLR.

Read AFCA’s factsheet about SMSF complaints here.

How to lodge a complaint

If a former client of Dixon Advisory has already lodged a complaint with AFCA there is no need for them to do anything further at this time. 

ASIC announcement

On 3 August 2022 ASIC announced that it will soon be writing to former clients of Dixon Advisory to inform them that if they believe they have suffered loss as a result of the misconduct of Dixon Advisory and/or their former Dixon Advisory financial adviser in providing financial advice, they should make a complaint to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

As complaints may only be made against firms who are members of AFCA, complaints against Dixon Advisory should be made as soon as possible to ensure that Dixon Advisory’s AFCA membership is still current and that consumers remain eligible to access the future Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (CSLR).

Details of administrators

On 19 January 2022 E&P Financial Group Limited made an ASX announcement about the appointment of the Administrators to Dixon.  

When a firm enters an insolvency process it is important that any communications or queries about the process are directed to those now responsible for the firm.  

In the case of Dixon this is currently the administrators, Stephen Longley and Craig Crosbie of PwC Partners. Their contact details are:  

au_dass_queries@pwc.com

Class actions

AFCA understands that the current class actions against Dixon is now subject to a court-approved settlement. AFCA has reviewed the settlement terms and does not consider that the settlement would, in and of itself, require AFCA to exclude a complaint against Dixon by a class action member. You can still lodge your complaint with AFCA while Dixon remains a current member.

More information

Previous ASIC announcements

ASIC has suspended the Australian Financial Services licence of Dixon Advisory with conditions including the maintenance of AFCA membership (see 22-094MR).

On 4 September 2020 ASIC commenced civil penalty proceedings against Dixon Advisory for alleged conflicts, best interest failures and inappropriate advice (see 20-207MR and 21-167MR).

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